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Named one of the ten best solo acoustic guitar albums of the year by The Out Door and a top ten album of the year by The Liminal, Tom Lecky’s debut album as Hallock Hill elicited a powerful response when it was first released on CD by Hundred Acre Recordings last May. The album’s unique assembly of stacked and layered acoustic, electric and lap steel guitars delivered a new kind of studio improvisation: pieces that were spontaneously made, yet feel composed, pieces that glide from harmonious to dissonant in the instances where their improvisations swerve around one another and occasionally collide.
MIE Music brings The Union to vinyl for the first time as a double LP, paired with Hallock Hill’s new album A Hem of Evening: six interlocking acoustic pieces that extend the structural themes of The Union’s central acoustic tracks. Sidestepping any reference to John Fahey, the union brought Jandek to mind. a hem of evening has something of an Orcutt vibe to it. Lecky again builds a range of overlapping improvisations and twisted melodic weavings, but here within a more naked and spare atmosphere. Where some of the tracks on The Union were structured by continually stacking great density of sound and involutions, the tracks on A Hem of Evening work with a different geometry. Air and space: expansion of themselves within themselves, rather than an expansion coming from additional voices. In the words of Fluid Radio’s Andy Gillham, A Hem of Evening shows “a canny ability to build meaningful musical structure from free-form composition.” A book of prose poems and photographs based on these pieces accompanies the LP. Mastered By James Plotkin.
“It’s my favorite solo acoustic album of the year so far, and if it indicates a new direction for this kind of music. I think Fahey would approve.” – Marc Masters, “Beyond Fahey,” Pitchfork’s The Out-Door
“It is perhaps Ry Cooder's The Long Riders that serves as the best reference point for the lost gypsy blues that make up The Union, as this particular American son's playing is similarly understated, meditative and plaintive. Deeply layered tracks come together, heading to shore, moving persistently. Tangled up in a judicious vine of reverb and intermittent delay, Lecky's recorded acoustic guitar sounds solid - the timbre of the woods almost thick enough to chop percussively through speakers. When Lecky's guitar is dry, it’s almost verbal; but when drenched in reverb, there is something religious contained within its generous tonality. Attempting to place The Union alongside another guitar album seems facile, as there simply seems to be little of its like in existence.” – Asheq Akhtar, The Quietus