For the inaugural record of the week we had a rather tough choice to make. So many great new albums are coming out for the May 26th release week between the new Grizzly Bear, Tyvek, Blank Dogs, Sunn O))), Current 93, Khanate, and tons of others. After all was said and done though, one stood much above the others to get the esteemed honor.
When James Blackshaw left Tompkins Square for Young God I had a feeling that something great was going to come. Michael Gira(Young God Records) rarely signs any artists that are short of amazing and I have absolutely loved everything that Blackshaw has put out. Admittedly though, I was feeling a little let down by his last effort, Litany of Echoes.
Blackshaw has been completely forgiven for any let down on this new album. Despite the fact that he is still compared to other guitar artists such as John Fahey, Robbie Basho, Jack Rose, and their ilk, Blackshaw has really carved out a sound all his own. Blackshaw’s sound has a much less American sound to it, which would make sense considering he is from England. His compositional skills go beyond guitar as well as vocal arrangements complement his guitar playing on the first track “Cross” and piano and string arrangements, not unlike Peter Broadrick’s work on Float, make up the majority of the second half of the album.
Blackshaw, having recently joined Current 93 and played on their new album(also released this week), is joined by members of Current 93. You’d think this would lead to a more abstract or disjointed Blackshaw but he seems to be more focused than ever. Recommended if you like John Fahey, English folk, ambient music or just a good record to play around the house on a rainy day.
Honorable mentions for May 26th Record of the Week:
- City Center – City Center (Type)
- Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest (Warp)
- Blank Dogs – Under and Under (In the Red)