(Eh?)

Josh Ronsen – unaided, or in company of Jason Pierce, Glen Nuckolls, Genevieve Walsh and Jacob Green – keeps sending encouraging signals via his Brekekekexkoaxkoax project, which regularly strolls around two poles – semi-structured improvisation and drones – often integrating their reciprocal qualities. This collection, assembling pieces recorded from 2002 to 2006, is not an exception: the first selections find Ronsen and Pierce manipulating prepared guitar and drums in quiet, if unsettling duos where – as pleasurable as the listening may be – we don’t move too far from the habitual sonorities of the genre: twinkle, rustle, screech and bump if you see what I mean. Nice stuff, yet the best comes in the second half of the CD: a pair of superlative rumbling laments by Ronsen alone on electronics (in one of them, also guitar and turntable) – “Shoham” being so dominant that my furniture rattled during the playback – and two shorter joint improvisations where the mix of acoustic and electric instruments places the music several hundred yards from a characterization: not really free, as there seems to be an underlying organization (at least in the minds of the performers) but certainly nothing to do with alternative or “post” rock, either. Let’s just say that this is a fine album: 65 minutes that get swallowed without problems, three of the tracks reaching a superior level.

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