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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ 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

44.1 kHz Archive

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Unknown Spin

Since their ungodly-good late-1998 longplayer, Houston, Texan drone/folk darlings Charalambides have somehow managed to seem like they've disappeared, whilst actually being hyper-productive. In that time, Tom and Christina Carter have issued no fewer than 10 records of various forms — live recordings from various "eras," limited-run CDRs, lathe-cut LPs — on their own Wholly Other label. But all of these have been released in such scarce supply, and in such under-the-radar ways, that Houston still stands as their last real proper album — meaning, y'know, one recorded in a studio and issued on a record label and available in wide distribution and all. In lead-up to, like, their next proper album, the inimitable Kranky is reissuing some of these obscurist for-friends-and-family missives and making them widely available. For those who haven't assiduously sought out the audio ephemera emanating from Charalambides HQ in this five-year period, it almost serves as seeing what they've been up to. The first of these re-releases, Unknown Spin, is a pretty good place to start. Initially issued as an untitled CDR split with Scorces — the wailing/whaling breath-and-drone duo Christina splits with Heather Leigh Murray — on the eve of a 2002 tour, the set finds the Carters and Murray, then newly integrated as third member, quietly encircling in their idiosyncratic tones. Calling them a drone/folk outing at the top is only the tip of the descriptive iceberg when it comes to fumbling for the words to convey their craft into syntax; the combo's completely harmonic music works with what seem to be stylistic incongruities. With Tom's stately guitar playing conjuring up dangling notes that seem drawn from the desert and suspended in the sky, Christina's glistening guitar effects and sotto-voce voice drift underneath like some quiet fog rolling across these red-dirt plains, with, then, her sobbing wordless wails easily associable with the wails of ghosts. To this, Murray brings her trademark deconstructed pedal steel, drawing the most minimal drones from such a Golden Country instrument. Still, laying out their make-up like this does little to prepare one for the evocative wonderland into which Charalambides can draw a listener. Theirs is, in a sense, music of pure ambience, but their ghostly minimalism also seems raggedly psychedelic at the same time. And the overall effect seems most akin to hearing the intuitive spirituals of some new-millennial Americana, their shifts and tensions drawn from instincts existing in both man and the land.

by Anthony Carew

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