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WEEP Worn Thin

(Pro­jekt) Whether you’re

look­ing for dark­wave, am­bi­ent, goth, or shoegaze, the Pro­jekt la­bel has you cov­ered. With an artist ros­ter teem­ing with bands whose songs are played wher­ever black lights, nip­ple jew­elry, and fog ma­chines are sold, Pro­jekt keeps the spirit of the mu­si­cal bat cave march­ing on­ward. One of its lat­est re­leases, Weep’s Worn Thin, hews to the pop­pier sen­si­bil­i­ties of Bauhaus front­man Peter Mur­phy’s early solo work: lush, at­mo­spheric gui­tar lay­ers, a near over­sat­u­ra­tion of horn and string flour­ishes, and four-and five-part male-vo­cal har­monies that hover in 4/4 time with (fu­ne­re­ally) march­ing low-end per­cus­sion. This, the New York City en­sem­ble’s first full-length al­bum, is as de­cently pro­duced as any­thing that pop­u­lar ’ 80s-and ’90s-era bands of the same ilk ever served up. Un­for­tu­nately, the 12 tracks wear a lit­tle thin in­no­va­tively. It isn’t un­til the ti­tle track — ninth on the disc — that ar­range­ments be­come clever or in­ter­est­ing. The four-minute in­stru­men­tal “In­ter­lude” strains for a spooky, ethe­real qual­ity but sounds like a New Age crys­tal-heal­ing cas­sette. Worn Thin is pass­able dark­wave; just con­sider it a set of train­ing wheels for stronger ma­te­rial. At least the al­bum has some hu­mor, whether it’s in­ten­tional or not: it in­cludes cov­ers of Je­sus Jones’ “Right Here, Right Now” and Ri­hanna’s “Shut Up and Drive.” Huh? — Rob DeWalt

HENRI DU­TILLEUX D’om­bre et de si­lence (ECM New

Se­ries) Henri Du­tilleux, now 94, is widely con­sid­ered one of the two most em­i­nent French com­posers. The other is Pierre Boulez, and chances are that you will like Du­tilleux’s mu­sic con­sid­er­ably more than that of his con­tem­po­rary. He has doled it out sparsely over the years, and he’s so self-crit­i­cal that he with­drew many of his jour­ney­man com­po­si­tions, leav­ing his im­pres­sive Pi­ano Sonata (com­pleted in 1948, when he was 32) as the ear­li­est piece in his cat­a­log. Robert Levin plays it lu­mi­nously in this CD of Du­tilleux’s pi­ano works; ev­ery note seems per­fectly in place, and the mo­men­tum builds through its 24 min­utes to cul­mi­nate in a vig­or­ous but mys­te­ri­ous cho­rale. The rest of the CD con­sists of tiny pieces, most of them last­ing only a minute or two. Du­tilleux wrote many of them as evoca­tive in­ter­ludes to sep­a­rate items in ra­dio broad­casts. Each en­cap­su­lates a pre­cisely etched char­ac­ter, and sev­eral will prob­a­bly haunt your mu­si­cal me­mory for a long time. Most widely known as a scholar-pi­anist spe­cial­iz­ing in Mozart, Levin plays im­mac­u­lately through­out. Per­haps an­other in­ter­preter will some­day choose to ex­plore the Gersh­win-es­que ten­den­cies in some of these pieces. For his part, Levin takes an ob­jec­tive stance that un­der­scores how Du­tilleux’s style evolved from the clar­ity of Ravel. Watch for this ir­re­sistible CD to pop up on the lists of in­ter­na­tional record­ing awards. It de­serves to.

— James M. Keller


De­ci­sive Steps (Mack

Av­enue) Tia Fuller has re­cently worked as a mem­ber of Bey­oncé’s tour­ing band, but there’s noth­ing pop­pish about De­ci­sive Steps. It’s a solid out­ing in straight-ahead jazz, also fea­tur­ing women play­ers on pi­ano and Fender Rhodes (Shamie Roys­ton, Fuller’s sis­ter), bass (Miriam Sul­li­van), and drums (Kim Thomp­son). Be­hind Fuller’s great chops are Char­lie Parker, Can­non­ball Ad­der­ley, and Sarah Vaughan — for in­spi­ra­tion — and col­lab­o­ra­tions with such tal­ents as Jimmy Heath, Ger­ald Wil­son, and Wy­cliffe Gor­don. She’s also an ac­com­plished song­writer; most of the tunes on this al­bum and on her first for the Mack Av­enue la­bel, 2007’s Heal­ing Space, are her com­po­si­tions. She opens, play­ing alto, with “De­ci­sive Steps.” She has a cool sax­o­phone voice, a good blend of gusto and del­i­cacy, with hearty im­pro­vi­sa­tions in the post-bop vein. Roys­ton like­wise has a fine, ad­ven­tur­ous jazz char­ac­ter. “Wind­soar,” a Roys­ton tune, boasts earnest horn search­ings by Fuller and guest trum­peter Sean Jones against puls­ing pi­ano and bass — a flaky song ti­tle, per­haps, but great play­ing. “Ebb & Flow” is a funkadelic fi­esta, Roys­ton switch­ing to Fender Rhodes and guest Chris­tian McBride play­ing elec­tric bass. Other high­lights are Fuller’s pas­sion­ate so­prano on “Kissed by the Sun,” a great vi­bra­phone solo by guest War­ren Wolf on “Shades of McBride,” and bright cov­ers of “I Can’t Get Started” and “My Shin­ing Hour.” Don’t miss this one, OK? — Paul Wei­de­man

PRINCE RAMA Shadow Tem­ple (Paw Tracks) Here’s some­thing you don’t hear ev­ery day. You know that scene in In­di­ana Jones and the Tem­ple of Doom where the bald dude rips out the heart of that prince while a hun­dred peo­ple chant in uni­son? Have you ever hoped for an en­tire al­bum that cap­tures that vibe? If so, you’re in luck: here’s the sound­track to the your next se­cret Stone­cut­ters meet­ing. All boom­ing drums, spaced-out key­boards, and oth­er­worldly chant­ing (bass by Michael Collins, high har­monies by Taraka and Ni­mai Lar­son), Shadow Tem­ple of­ten comes across like a dense heavy-metal al­bum, al­though as far as I can tell there isn’t a gui­tar to be found. It’s im­pos­si­ble to pull a sin­gle song from this pa­rade of psy­che­delic and semispir­i­tual rhythms, but as a long-player, I keep find­ing this record sneak­ing into my ro­ta­tion. Maybe there was a hole in my life that could only be filled by Tem­ple

of Doom mu­sic af­ter all. Ac­cord­ing to the press notes, the Brook­lyn-based trio was raised on a Hare Kr­ishna com­mune in Florida, and Shadow

Tem­ple was recorded in Kurt Von­negut’s grand­son’s cabin and a haunted church. I don’t know how much of that is pulling my leg, but if I can be­lieve an al­bum of this kind of mu­sic ex­ists, then I guess I’m cool with it. — Robert B. Ker

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