Album Review

D. Charles Speer – “Arghiledes” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

abacus   12/14/2011   12-inch, A Library

A trip to the Greek underworld complements of No Neck Blues Band guitarist David Shuford (aka D. Charles Speer). His solo work has traditionally been explorations into the roots of American music and the perverse influence of honky-tonks and all the drugs and alcohol that came along with them. Here, however, he explores the similarities in the Greek ‘Tekedes,’ though with a heavier influence on space and improvisation. The album weighs heavily on the bouzouki (saz equivalent) and more specifically, serves as a dedication to the father of the instrument Markos Vamvakaris (second track is a recreation of his song that translates to “The Sniffer” of drugs no doubt). Each side moves from traditional Greek/Anatolian instrumentation and structures into more open, freeform psychedelic sounds that introduce Western instruments and sounds in a very tripped out, narcotic ambience. There is a wide variety of styles and sounds here and no track sounds like any other. Check out the liner notes inside for in-depth track descriptions. Limited edition 500 copies!

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