JAMES BLACK­SHAW All Is Fall­ing (Young God Records)

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

All Is Fall­ing falls into a mu­si­cal cat­e­gory that has been in­hab­ited most fa­mously by the likes of John Fa­hey, Rob­bie Basho, and Glenn Jones. The young Bri­tish phe­nom gui­tarist James Black­shaw, ac­cord­ing to his MyS­pace page, also re­lates to Steve Re­ich, Terry Ri­ley, Mered­ith Monk, Claude De­bussy, and Al­bert Ayler. Most of Black­shaw’s recorded mu­sic has been on his own al­bums, one ex­cep­tion be­ing his role on last year’s Aleph at Hal­lu­ci­na­tory Moun­tain by the ridicu­lously eclec­tic col­lec­tive Cur­rent 93. On All Is Fall­ing Black­shaw plays elec­tric 12-string gui­tar and pi­ano, with sup­port from vi­o­lin­ists Char­lotte Glas­son and Fran Bury and cel­list Daniel Ma­dav. The eight-part suite opens with beau­ti­ful, com­plex im­pro­vi­sa­tions over a re­peat­ing, six-note pat­tern on the pi­ano. “Part 2” is melodic and spare, not un­like me­dieval mu­sic, and then, to­ward the end, Black­shaw thick­ens the stew, cre­at­ing a sheet of sound by means of a repet­i­tive fin­ger­pick­ing tech­nique. Most of the disc is oc­cu­pied by hyp­notic, ring­ing pat­terns, the gui­tar and vi­o­lins in­ter­twin­ing melodic fig­ures. But the or­ches­tral char­ac­ter is re­laxed dur­ing the un­fold­ing of “Part 7,” as the vi­o­lins en­gage in over­lap­ping, down­ward slurs, and Black­shaw ul­ti­mately joins in the su­per-trippy glis­sandi fest. He con­tin­ues in the “elec­tric” vein for the suite’s fi­nal sec­tion, as fuzzy sus­tains and vi­brato and feed­back ef­fects are in the fore. This is an al­bum for day­dream­ing. — Paul Wei­de­man

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