Album Review

Wollesen, Kenny / Haffner, Jonathon / Naujo, Dalius – “Rasa Rasa” – [Tzadik]

Thurston Hunger   1/30/2015   A Library, CD

The Mystery of *Lithuanian* Voices? Wollesen, a former
Santa Cruzer, working in NYC with fellow drummer Dalius
Naujo, guitar/saxman Jonathon Haffner and plenty of
friends plus these amazing Lithuanian Ladies who Lunch!
Seriously, I feel like you could be on death’s door
and they would surround you and bathe you in their
phonic rounds, waves of sound permeating you and
restoring you to health. Their voices are by no means
all there is to this album, and the genius of the
project is how they are placed (well that and maybe
the army of “Wollesonics” employed!) Listen to “Ti Ti Ti”
at the end how it fizzles out into a distant phone call
to 1957 and the birds fly in the window. Or how about
the arctic sweeps of electronics and wisps of the
women’s voices blowing through “Pasisecia”. “Einu” has
a rusty concrete intro, those voices pulling you
between a New Orleans funeral and some guitar bombast!
Check the love of dub found in “Rasele.” And let’s not
leave out Giuseppe_Zevola (whom I sure hope is this guy
The steady sway of the lithe Lithuaniacs (their voices
like a sacred see-saw, know what I mean), versus Zevola
who bursts in passionate dramatic flair to start “I
Love My Friends” and he gets the last word on the album
too. I thought on first blush he was some Japanese
madman who had lost his taiko troupe. I have no idea
what he or the women are singing, but I believe every
word! Miraculous meistrikumas!

PS There may be a CD defect on “I Love My Mother” !@#!@#$!
which is another joy of pop-corn electronics, wind-up toy
and voices! Maybe we can get a replacement copy from KW?!?!

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