Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Village Of Spaces - Alchemy And Trust - War On Records, et al.
Village Of Spaces - Alchemy And Trust - War On Records/Corleone Records/Don't Trust The Ruin/Turned Word
I've been enjoying how pleasantly out-of-step Alchemy And Trust is with the underground pop scene of 2011. The ongoing simplification, the heaps of gritty reverb, worship of the early 90s or whatever scene it is -- no trace of any of that here. Dan Beckman (now Beckman-Moon), has been on his own path for quite a few years now and this is certainly a record made by a person pursuing a vision, and pursuing it long enough that the weight and maturity of the work is hard to ignore. It's not a record for everyone, and I wouldn't blame someone for turning up their nose -- the gentle tempos, the hushed vocals, the heady lyrics, the acoustic arrangements, there's a lot of music out there that matches those descriptors without much to redeem it. But if you're willing to meet these songs halfway (which is a fair requirement to ask of any music), you will find them to be sturdy and elegant. There are six songs in total, each around five or six minutes long, and each fully-developed in structure and arrangement. In terms of the music itself, it's broadly "folk" but pleasantly and subtly -- very subtly -- psychedelic in a way that reminds me of the Jewelled Antler scene as it was six or seven years ago, minus the reverb and general murkiness. Something in it reminds me of Glen Donaldson's Birdtree project. And in it's folk-ness, Beckman-Moon is clearly a devotee of Michael Hurley (who contributes fiddle to a track). Ultimately, a solid record from a man clearly "in it" for life. I have a hunch this is the beginning of his "mature" work, and I'm looking forward to the records to come.

$13, email to order it.

I also have a few copies of the Peppermint Birdhouse Tea Shanty Shack LP made under the Uke of Philips moniker that was released by Mississippi, Friends and Relatives and Turned Word a few years back. Those are $10.

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