Album Review

Belhom, Thomas – “Cheval Oblique ” – [Haus Musik]

Max Level   4/1/2007   12-inch, A Library

French drummer/multi-instrumentalist Belhom makes most of the sounds heard here, by overdubbing and/or accompanying himself via loops and tapes. His drums and percussion are at the forefront, but tone, coloration, and punctuation are as important as overt rhythms. He adds keyboards, guitars, accordion, field recordings, and various effects (prepared records, backwards tapes, etc) using a subtle, textural approach, rather than a melodic one, for much of it. Guests contribute organ, bass, cello, and horns. This is a wonderful LP full of tasteful, evocative sounds, well put together. Belhom has great interest in the American southwest, and in particular the desert; he lived in Tucson AZ for a while and was involved in the music scene there. As a result, he knows how to make a record full of emptiness and desolation sound warm and inviting. All tracks instrumental.

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