(Evelyn)

“Lexical passages” is the third solo release by Texan guitarist/soundscaper Douglas Ferguson, whose work is consistently improving with each new record. A double CD, this is mostly based on atmospheric drones, icy static landscapes and jangly guitars (plus some other instrumental source) put into heavy effect treatment, sometimes with a few fuzzy lines lurking from the outside. If I linked this artist to other experimental guitarists you’d only perceive him superficially; instead, Douglas’ approaches the whole length of this opus with carefully constructed hoards of impressive, thoughtful sound remodeling. Unrecognizable shadows infiltrate an apparently serene setting while the mass of frequencies tends to petrify in a hardness you couldn’t break with a pick. This sort of stagnation does not filter out the listeners because, right from that layering of stillnesses, lots of moving harmonics and delightful timbral halos fly out, forcing your complete attention like you were put in a pillory. What remains when the music’s over is a sense of void, like getting used to a presence felt as unsettling but that instead was vital.

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