Hand/Eye is pleased to announce the release of "The Transparent World" by the Minneapolis-based instrumental improv trio Barlow/Petersen/Wivinus.
"The Transparent World" is effectively the group's first proper release (aside from a live-to-cassette, self-titled CDR limited to 100 copies and released last year on Stick It To The Man/Asymmetry to good responses on both sides of the Atlantic), and contains ten tracks encompassing a wide range of mood, texture and instrumentation.
Whereas their earlier disc explored the ether via electric guitars, feedback and the multitude of sounds that can be derived from a variety of effects pedals, "The Transparent World" finds the group working exclusively with acoustic instrumentation to achieve a sonic landscape that is at turns lush and austere, meditative and menacing. All tracks on the disc are improvised at their core and utilize a wide variety of instruments and techniques, creating many sounds not normally associated with "acoustic" recordings.
Of course there are guitars (both six- and twelve-string), but often unusually tuned and occasionally bowed. Piano, dulcimer, mandolin (occasionally augmented by e-bow and slide) bowed cymbals, the Freeman Monostring (played with a ballpeen hammer) the "rattletrap," bagpipe chanter and various other peripheral devices are all used to create a very singular and evocative whole.
Musically, the disc ranges across a wide variety of styles and influences, but still retains a unified vision and a cohesive sound. Any number of genres can be seen in fleeting glimpses throughout the recordings: menacing blues from the deepest edges of a swamp swimming with spirits and psychosis (as seen in the opening cut, "Buried Under Crows"), avant soundscapes conjuring images of a creaking old house with a will all its own and possible ill intent (the chillingly abrasive "That Night"), long and languid soundtracks toward the horizon at the end of a lengthy and perhaps lucid dream (as exemplified by the echoing piano-laden closing track, "Retribution").
This release rests somewhere between the experimental avant-garde, the darkest psychedelic folk music and the epic 360 degree horizons of pure drone/dream music. Fans of Third Ear Band, Makoto Kawabata's "Inui" project, Six Organs of Admittance and select movie soundtracks will surely find something to appreciate here.
Reviews of BPW's self-titled debut CDR on Stick It To The Man/Asymmetry records:
"Bits and pieces from the halls of eternity litter the landscape of this recording. This is solid cosmic trip-out music that expands with a tumultuous torpor. This is the soundtrack to star travel... vaguely sinister with its resounding knells and haunting drones."-T. Alexander
The Broken Face, Sweden
"This new trio attempts more than many established bands ever would risk. And they pull it off, so what are you waiting for?" -Mats Gustafsson
Aural Innovations Ohio
"This is one of those albums that I wish I had several months to hang out with before having to lay down the definitive ink, as it's still landing new goosebumps on me this very second."-Chuck Rosenberg
"This is a sweet one.When things come together, there's a bruised ascetic majesty hovering around it that would make it a fine soundtrack for, oh, driving across northern Utah at dawn (I know *just* where I'd want the sun to come up)." -Jim Flannery