Carter, Tom & Bassett, Marcia – Zaika – [Eclipse, No Cat] – (33 rpm)
Tom Carter (of Charlambides) and Marcia Bassett (of Double Leopards and Hototogisu), two guitarists with very personal styles, team up to prove that there’s no I in drone. Released in September 2005, this album contains four lengthy improvisations, two on each side.
Given a superficial listen, this music sounded spacey or cosmic. It made me think about how when galaxies collide they sometimes get even more beautiful. But listening more carefully revealed something very earthy and grounded, like hearing old field recordings from the early 20th century broken down to their individual phonemes and reassembled.
The two guitarists complement each other beautifully throughout the tracks. Sometimes they play notes microtones apart that beat against each other, or one note sustains while the other arpeggiates or does something extramusical. Other times they hover somewhere over the boundary between music and noise.
Listening to this release will make you feel like you are being chased by a very lazy St. Elmo’s fire.