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- Release Date 13 May 2016
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‘Prismrose’ is a nearly wordless collection of six pieces for electric guitar, all given real time to breathe, grow unpredictably, mutate. It’s an album - an of-a-piece, startto- finish listen - that documents what an electric guitar sounds like in David Grubbs’ hands in the year 2016. ‘Prismrose’ comes to us from a stellar run of expansive, hands-thinking hands-puzzling guitar music that began with the stylistic pivot of Grubbs’s solo records ‘An Optimist Notes The Dusk’ and ‘The Plain Where The Palace Stood’ and the two recent albums from the trio Belfi / Grubbs / Pilia.
‘Prismrose’ begins with ‘How To Hear What’s Less Than Meets The Ear’, an eleven-minute duo written for Tony Conrad (RIP)’s 75th birthday bash with Grubbs on chiming, tolling Telecaster and wunderkind percussionist and composer Eli Keszler on backwards-somersaulting drums. Keszler makes his presence known on three of the album’s tracks.
The years reel with an errand into the 14th century for ‘Cheery Eh’, an arrangement of Guillaume de Machaut and a brief stop in the 19th century with a setting of Walt Whitman’s ‘When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer’ by Rick Moody, originally recorded by The Wingdale Community Singers.
The remainder of the album is set unambiguously in the present moment and this suite of three instrumentals sails off the edge of the world with the breezy, eminently whistleable anthem ‘The Bonsai Waterfall’.
Beautiful, eminently ponderable cover artwork by Kai Althoff (of the bands Workshop and Fanal).
1. How To Hear What’s Less
2. Than Meets The Ear
3. Cheery Eh
4. Learned Astronomer
5. Manifesto In Clear Language
6. Nightfall In The Covered Cage
7. The Bonsai Waterfall