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Monday, July 26, 2010

Record of the Month - Gastr del Sol - The Serpentine Similar


I had, like usual, a browse at Massimo's always weird and interesting record bins, at Piazzola sul Brenta (Padua) monthly flea-market, and what I got is a rare (on vinyl sure it is...) Gastr del Sol "The Serpentine Similar", a 1993 wonder on Dexter's Cigar Records.

I knew about this prog/avantgarde group produced by John McEntire, BUT I wasn't prepared to the beauty of this disc, period!

It's a sparse duo, Grubbs and Brown - becoming a trio with McEntire's percussions on one track - with beautiful acoustic and electric guitars, an huge, subterrean bass and Monk-like piano and melodies and atmospheres reminding and hinting to some John Fahey's ideas, some Jim O'Rourke's experiments and productions, but also some Capt. Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" greasy sounds and - strange indeed - some Incredible String Band's from their "U" double album: acid-tinted sounds, truly seldom heard everywhere.

A true joy for the mind, ears and heart, as well...

"A Watery Kentucky", "Ursus Arctos Wonderfilis" and, even more, a superb tune titled "Even the odd orbit", a little masterpiece itself, really pleased me in Gotorama, during a lazy mid-summer afternoon, while quietly puffing a wonderful Bolivar habanos.

I recommend everyone into prog and electro-acoustic slow-tempo experimental music to give a try to this... this... yes, a masterpiece, maybe a little one, BUT still a masterpiece!

As a plus, recording quality is also awesome.

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