Leafcutter John … Wire

Leafcutter John
Tunis
Tsuku Boshi CD

John Burton isn’t a man given to the literal, but the title of his release
is about as matter of fact as it gets – the music presented here was
initially composed for a performance at Festival Echoes Sonores in Tunis
in june 2010. All seven tracks were constructed from sound fragments
gathered during the same visit, so they’re as close to improvised as
anything relying on software can ever be. But despite being created so
quickly, they have a nuanced, ambigious impact. The opening « A Slowly
Growing Beautiful » moves in sonorous circles, the bass pattern of a Bach
organ piece garlanded by skeins of sustained guitar; but any sense that
this is going to be a straighforwardly immersive drone fest is confounded
by the « Palm Reader » that ushers choral fragments down dark, congested
alleys of sound. (The Wire Decembre 2010)

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