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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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Bells Break Their Towers
Strange Attractors Audio House

These extended hallucinatory excursions tap into drone, psyche, krautrock and prog, layering dense salvos of guitar on rhythmic incantations. The pieces are relatively simple — a repetitive guitar pattern locked within a single chord, a verse fragment, a fractalish dialogue between snare and cymbal — but they are combined in complex, almost round-like ways. That they are pure improvisations, composed and performed entirely on the spot (at The Space in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. during the summer and fall of 2004), makes Bright's fourth full-length album all the more impressive.

Bright is, at its core, a collaboration between multi-instrumentalists Mark Dwinell and Joe LeBrecque. Dwinell is best known as a guitarist, though he also plays bass and keyboards, and sings on various tracks of the album. Similarly, LeBrecque's most important role may be as drummer, as his regular beats may be the only tether holding these freewheeling improvisations to recognizable structure, yet he also contributes acoustic guitar, bass and keyboards. Other players (there are as many as three different guitar players on a couple of tracks) add texture, depth and complexity to these shape-shifting cuts.

Several of the cuts have vocals, repeated words that hang like a fog over the dreamy contours of guitar. On the lovely "Flood," three separate guitar players build a lattice work of picked blues-folk notes, while Dwinell's abstract singing drifts above unruffled. "Manifest Harmony," sparser with just Dwinell and LeBrecque playing, constructs precise geometries of progressive rock out of interlocking guitar lines, steady rhythms and twining arabesques of singing. "Secret Form of Time" is one of the album's most unusual tracks, a shimmering haze of piano, notes looped on top of each other and overtones teeming and dense between them.

The title track is the clear highlight, a dense texture of scratchy guitars, ethereal vocals and complex, jazz-tinged drumming. At more than 12 minutes in length, the piece maintains tension throughout, with new sounds and ideas emerging out of the drone and old ones combined in complex patterns. There's a sunny lift to this piece, as there is to the album as a whole. It's like looking up through a thick, shifting forest canopy, the light filtering through in ever-changing patterns. These compositions are tranquil yet mind-engaging, repetitive enough to lull the listener into a trance, but with challenges and sudden beauties hidden in the interstices.

by Jennifer Kelly

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