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Man Forever with So Percussion — Ryonen (Thrill Jockey)

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When John Colpitts toured his Man Forever project a year or two ago, he would routinely pull another drummer out of the local scene — if not from the audience. The two of them would face each other, each seated in front of a single drum, and commence. The time I saw Man Forever, the recruit was visibly straining to keep up, his participation active, full of listening and striving and trying to figure the thing out. Colpitts, by contrast, was sweatily serene as he powered through a half an hour of drum rolling. The music was so clearly about communicating, wordlessly, mind to mind, through shared physical and mental effort.

This new collaboration between Man Forever and So Percussion is that experience times four.

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"The finish, which is glorious, lets the physicality of the drumming push through, past abstraction, past reference, past the players’ exhaustion, until it is the thing itself: a revelation. " 

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D. Charles Speer & the Helix — Doubled Exposure (Thrill Jockey)

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D. Charles Speer & The Helix - Wallwalker from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

In the days of analog photography, you obtained a double exposure by exposing your film to one thing and then exposing it again to something else. Once combined, the images became one, even though they weren’t originally connected in any way. This is an apt metaphor for the music of D. Charles Speer and the Helix. They’re a well-tooled country-rock band whose awareness of country stylings goes at least as far back as Bob Wills. That’s one image, but over it, music that would never be allowed onto the Opry stage casts shadows upon the tunes.

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