Eraldo Bernocchi / Prakash Sontakke — Invisible Strings
(RareNoise RNR069, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-02-24
I think it’s safe to say that Invisible Strings is the friendliest release on RareNoise to date. This collaboration between sound wizard Eraldo Bernocchi and slide guitarist Prakash Sontakke is universally consonant, if not downright cheerful, especially compared to some of the more difficult listening experiences the label has on offer. Which is not to imply that it’s uninteresting or lacking in originality. In fact, it’s a welcome respite from all the angst and noise found in the world around us. Sontakke’s playing is the highlight of the set, and while slide guitar is not an instrument normally associated with Indian music, it is ideally suited for the style. Microtonal ornamentation of melodies is a natural when there are no frets in play, and Sontakke’s sound calls to mind a less twangy sitar with near-infinite string-bending capabilities. These are put into rhythmic contexts that are not too challenging — no breakneck 23/8 patterns here, just bouncy beats that percolate happily and don’t distract from the melodies. Some of the pieces are based on single-pitch backing, but mostly there are chord progressions involved, and in fact I’m reminded of Mike Oldfield at times, substituting the slide guitar for Oldfield’s electric in sections of Hergest Ridge or the like. The percussion is unabashedly electronic, but never drifts into simple-minded dancefloor thumping. This is an album full of lovely music that is refreshingly free of tension, but remains well above “beautiful” New Age pablum.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more