Friday, February 12, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - February 10/10

The third time is the charm for Drumheller.

This band - and it is a band with stable membership, surely a phenomenon that's increased over the past ten years - brings many flavours of musical experience together, but eschews grandstanding in favour of what, by album number three, has become a unique group sound. I've heard that, a rule of thumb for the group is that nobody takes a solo in a composition they've written themselves (how Canadian is that?). Drumheller records and releases records like an indie rock band, this time around employing indie art locale 6 Nassau as an off the floor recording space and as always, putting it out on guitarist Eric Chenaux's Rat Drifting label.

The band's chemistry is at an all-time high, with Nick Fraser and Rob Clutton creating bedrock, soulful grooves or the most wispy, absract sketches at will. Doug Tielli is unafraid to contrast microtonal plunger mute work with big bold 'bone, and Brodie West is so sweet that you don't notice him going way out. But Eric Chenaux's guitar is really a welcome surprise. Those who have followed his career know that he played loud and noisy back in the day; this album finds him that way again, but in equal parts to his finely developed sense of phrasing and melody. "Sketch #14" is one such example where he sounds like he recorded surf guitar with wonky electronics over a telephone - not your typical jazz voicing.

This is a fantastic release, and they're even better live. See them if you can as they're touring Canada soon.


wale numa lombaliya - the rail band (sterns)
give me the chance - donnie & joe emerson (enterprise & co.)
embers - praveen & benoit rmx by david last (music related)
shoreline gold - last step (planet mu)
crankin' - curtis fuller (mainstream)
sketch #14 - drumheller (rat drifting)
sun touch - a made up sound (a made up sound)
oh yeah - ld (scion)
gumby's night in cuba - alexis k (no label)
cinco en uno callejero - grupo folklorico y experimental nuevayorkino (salsoul/charly)
cumba del sol - cumbias en moog (peerless)
the burning earth - andy haas/cyro baptista (tzadik)
absolute uncertainty - geordie haley (no label)
verspielte zeiten - irene schweizer/gunter baby sommer (intakt)
water - pit er pat (thrill jockey)
free rhodesia - jack ruby & the black disciples (heartbeat)
whip it - derrick harriott (hawkeye)
ram jam session - carlton livingston (roots)
mek wi dance - josey wales (prestige elite)
stepping out - alborosie & david hines (vp)
one of us - meditations (easy star)
feed back dubstyle - scientist (silver camel)

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