Castanets - In the Vines (Asthmatic Kitty) Eric Nielsen 1.29.08
In the Vines lays a slow languorous sound scape treating the ears and the mind to an apocalyptic vision of the present. The foremost theme is set in the downplayed voice. Treating the acoustic guitar to an other world, the vocal happenings are attacked by the ethereal transmissions from outer space. Overdubbed, effected, distorted soundtracks are an out-of-body experience beginning to beckon.
This disc is reminiscent of the new Six Organs of Admittance Shelter From the Ash, and that's a good thing. The extra tracking brings the emotions out, covering up of the sun, the ambient downpour sliding on the lap steel, the breathy piano, the cracks, warbles and pops of the overdubbed textures.
Underneath all the jelly is an alt country piece, the production and layering giving a chance for your imagination to soar. The album definitely has that 'touched by Rafter' feeling. Having worked with Ray on previous Castanets discs, Rafter's stylings and inspirations are included. I hear it in the drums of "Strong Animal" and the soaring effected feedback of the opening track, "Rain Will Come". And, rain does come, painted orange across the setting sun skies.
The greatest piece on the disc for me is the track "Three Months Paid". Drums, vibe, and tweaked sounds all take me to a very far away place of wonder and beauty. A whispered voice sits back in a noble refrained way and rubs the edges of your soul. Something about this track makes me feel like I'm on a lilting star or a pitched pirate ship being battered about by the energies of the solar system. It all goes right through the chakras.
Check out the Castanets live at the Casbah on Jan. 30th with Fantastic Magic, Rafter and Vision of a Dying World.