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neumu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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Documenta.II
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Sometimes CD stickers are just glorified versions of the price tag. And like a price tag, the cover blurb on Documenta.II deserves to adorn the insides of a garbage bag for self-importantly claiming its recording to be "a documentation of movement and innovation in modern acoustics." Sniffy pretentious album sticker aside, though, this is an admirable and wonderfully cohesive compilation of mellowed strums and intricacy-rich sounds.

The patented Kranky guitar drone, contrarily dark and shimmering, fuels Windy and Carl's "You" as whispers mesh around the song. Their labelmates, Labradford, contribute with a lonesome and meandering-at-a-distance guitar drone, waylaid by the helical tension of morose, anxiety-evoking strings. Over lone repetitive guitar strums, Mùm add sparse tinkles and gold-streaked echoes on "Spilar La La La." Their introspective and singular rhythms are reflective of this acoustically focused compilation, with many of the other artists opting for solitary but potently-driven sounds, faintly and delicately embellished with a spare and sporadic hand.

Mice Parade's frazzling repetition is rounded out by haphazard violin creaks, offbeat cries and harmonica surges. The glassy chimes and woody echoes of State River Widening's "Desertesque" are perceptibly (just) complemented with remote percussion and sharp string plucks. Other artists on Documenta.II traffic in a busier interplay of acoustic sounds: Tied + Tickled Trio's approach has all the low bass writhing of a deep-in-the-gutter math rock song, while The Notwist take a more bright-eyed route, dappled with synth gleeps, smooth horns and the odd skittery beat.

Overall, Documenta.II can be pinned with a few ribbons: one, for pulling together an eclectic and strong lineup of artists (from Tarwater to the American Analog Set; Savath & Savalas to Calexico); two, for fashioning together a cohesive yet inventive collection of thematically successful songs; three, for offering some very worthwhile and not-available-elsewhere tunes. It sorta makes up for their very poor sticker pitch.


by Lee Tran Lam




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