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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
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+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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Rothko And Caroline Ross
A Place Between

Rothko, the band, was born a trio: a triumvirate of London boys on basses, their radically reduced palette so austere and minimal they showed they'd learnt lessons from the artist from whom they stole their name. With such a handle, it was no surprise that their music sought to depict emotional expressionism going hand in hand with reductionism, their slightly gimmicky line-up merely musical parameters — and not a hindrance of contrivance — to shape their eventual output. After three longplayers in the three-bassplayer form, Rothko founder Mark Beazley bust up the band, and set to exploring the aesthetic of his rock 'n' roll handle in hand-in-hand collaborations with other humans sympathetic to the/his tonal gear; subsequent Rothko recordings were undertaken in league with Four Tet, Susumu Yokota, BLK w/BEAR, and Delicate Awol. It was his union with the latter — on the Rothko longplayer A Continuing Search for Origins — that brought Beazley together with Caroline Ross, who contributed voice and flute to a couple of that album's cuts. Here, on A Place Between, the pair come together in that godly place between two humans, wedded across a whole album in a wholly collaborative, co-billed fashion. Once again, minimalism reigns, but it's a painterly, passionate use of such, the caked-out foundation of speaker-rattling basstone daubed with melodic basslines left lingering and dangling, and the washed-over chimes of keyboard chords, Ross's spare singing, and ghosted guitar all like contrasting colors blinking from behind the cracks of the apparent monochrome. But, as important as the instruments they use are, equally important are the sounds they don't use, this union using silence as their rhythm, too; its every echo of nothingness builds to the point where what isn't there seems to dictate tempo and temperament. Where, in the early days of the band, Rothko seemed quite post-rockist in the way that they fretless'd their way to all sorts of smooth, beautiful, and willfully-abstracted bass sounds, here there's something almost classical — in a peculiar, perhaps postmodern way — about how Beazley and Ross's devotion to a greater sense of artistry leads them to sounds that sound almost holy. It all culminates with whispered spoken-word from Ross, reciting the lyrics of the album's opener as its spoken-word closer, the conclusion herein hearing her intone the text — "You make/ my whole landscape/ fall/ to/ the now-nonexistent/ floor/ You shake/ my whole idea/ of what a life/ is for" — with purely poetic measure.

by Anthony Carew

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