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Ben ‘Six Organs’ Chasny has been a busy boy lately, largely in his plugged in psych-fuzz mode but also in his ultra-trio Rangda with Richard Bishop and Chris Corsano. For this one, however, he travelled to North Brabant, a place which the liner notes explain is full of some 400 chapels, and wrote new songs for the acoustic guitar which were performed live at the Incubate festival in September 2010.
This performance makes for the bulk of this record, bookended by some spiritual studio-recorded harmonium drones. It’s sparse, melodic, nimble solo guitar work sometimes with busy open-string plucking, elsewhere nimble note clusters cut shrill melodic shapes in the air. Chasny is on top form in his expressive, bubbling, soulful acoustic guise. ‘Tilburg’, named after the town where the performance took place, is a gentle, heartstring-tugging highlight for me but the entire performance is superb.
It’s so well recorded you wouldn’t know it was live if it wasn’t for the applause before the final drone piece, and while the drones are very different from the acoustic set they complement the flow of the music and make sense in the context, with absorbing, throbbing, peaceful melodies that go on for long enough for you to really get lost in them. Great stuff as usual from the ‘Organs.