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    Grubbs, David / Howe, Susan – “Souls of The Labadie Tract” – [Blue Chopsticks]

    1694 Dutch utopians fled to Maryland, included among
    their beliefs was a renunciation of marriage, the
    liner notes (also spoken by Howe on the first track)
    provide some illumination. The sect all but vanished
    by 1722, but somehow linger on like the forms of
    drone delivered here by Grubbs (of the mighty
    Gastr del Sol and label leader of Blue Chopsticks).
    Grubbs greets us first, with a striking, but not quite
    piercing pitch from a form of kheen. Less percolating
    then its use in Molam music, here it is contemplative
    and more akin to a pressure cooker. He adds overtones
    but mostly allows Howe’s litany to own the audio
    spotlight. Her initial section, is a sensible
    synopsis, as time unravels, she spins a poetic yarn.
    “We’re the past, we’re too close to covet”
    Her voice, stark but not icy or distant, like a
    favorite college professor you sense is a lot weirder
    outside of the classroom. She doesn’t sound 70 (her
    age when this was released) she sound both much
    younger and much older. Perhaps like the Labadie.
    Grubbs is subtle but strong in his support, at times
    resigning to silence. Turning the page in a way.
    On first listen, I found his tone shrill, now it
    feels perfect. May send some KFJC listeners dialing
    away, but others will be transfixed. Echoes of
    lost lives found…. “loose ramshackle poem”
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on September 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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