How to describe a collaboration between Michigan soundscape artists Windy & Carl and Massachusetts theremin ensemble The Lothars? Two great drones that drone great together? Errrr.... Maybe not.
This joint effort of Wobbly Music and Blue Flea, the house labels of The Lothars and Windy & Carl, brings out the best in both bands. The four tracks were all recorded live during two of the Terrastock festivals (named for, and sponsored by, the long-running British magazine The Ptolemaic Terrascope). The centerpiece is the opening track, "3rd Stage." Many called this unrehearsed 28 minute collaboration between Carl and The Lothars the highlight of 1999's Terrastock 3 in London, England. Similar in spirit to the "Metallic Sonatas" of the recent Lothars CD "Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas," Carl's delicate guitar playing provides a grounding for the wails of three distinctive theremins.
The remainder of this CD was recorded live at 1998's Terrastock 2 in San Francisco. Windy & Carl perform two songs that whet our appetite for their next studio CD (their first in over two years), due out on Kranky Records in early 2001. The Lothars wrap things up, with some help from New Zealand violinist Alastair Galbraith.
The songs here have a way of sneaking up on you. You'll be half-listening - the drones wafting in one ear and out the other - when suddenly your head cocks, your ears perk up, and a smile slowly crosses your face. A religious experience? An epiphany? Maybe not. But it sounds pretty darned good.