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further info

Official Release Date Oct 28, 2008
Artist No-Neck Blues Band
Genre Pop
Version  US
PAX-Code PAX0005134408
Item Code  0656605711317

track listing

1. Silurist2. The Coach House3. Ministry of Voices4. Walking Wind5. Salai Widnalas6. Ialas Salandiw7. Make Love,8. Again9. Woaihb10. La Promese Miruco11. Silurist


Clomeim represents a bold new approach in the ongoing and hermetic saga of Harlem's rock improvisation unit No-Neck Blues Band (NNCK). Long before all that "new weird America" jive that shed light on then-underground bands like Sunburned Hand of the Man, Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice, Devendra Banhart, the now defunct Scorces, Hush Arbors, and the entire sprawling ilk, there was NNCK. The septet's origins trace back three years before 1996's unfettered Letters from the Earth and the brilliant, sprawling improvisation that is Live from Ken's Lake from 1998 (reissued in 2007). Clomeim, issued on Locust, also marks the band's first studio offering since the outrageous ambition they displayed on Qvaris issued on the 5 de Rue Christine imprint. Usually, NNCK find their way through an elemental process of building and creating layers of improvising that more often than not develop into something elemental yet adventurous and sprawling. This time out, the band holed up in their new upstate studio for 72 hours and jammed. When they were finished, they used the old-fashioned method of manually editing down tapes of performances for maximum effect. The sonics are still brave and unhinged, but this time out they are deeply focused on the "one"; they go directly at that moment to where it all begins to "happen," instead of hunting around for it. This is improvisation, but through these relatively short "songs," each piece's sonic identity emerges immediately. Nowhere is this more evident than on "Walking Wind," where a steady tom-tom rhythm rumbles and is adorned with hand drums, a recorder, electric bass, and sonic ambience in the form of electric guitars, a vocal that encroaches from the margin but never articulates itself fully. The rhythms however, create a kind of Krautrock Motorik palette that is hypnotically repetitive and seductively inviting. "Make Love" begins with Michiko's vocal (which plays a very large role on this set) which states, whispers, moans, and groans something over and over again in a foreign tongue, perhaps the title, perhaps nothing. Nervous electric guitar strafes, empty space, controlled feedback, and the sound of a slide and wah-wah pedal offer her ballast, albeit a gauzy and mysterious one, to continue. As drums and more instruments enter, the effect becomes more pronounced. Rhythm pushes underneath, detuned electric guitar solos are wrapped in ether, other instruments find a two-chord vamp to become the bedrock as restrained radio waves and other noise hovers tensely about. "La Promese Miruco" is the album's longest track, and sets about a steady rhythmic pulse even if its tonal center is dangerously slipping onto the edge of the cliff. But the repetition keeps it hovering close before the whole thing just lifts off -- again with Michiko's wordless vocals as both agitator and earthly anchor. There is something very reminiscent of the cut and a paste machination of Germany's Faust here; but Clomeim is less about imitation than method. NNCK are more disciplined than their German Krautrock forebears, even as they explore the netherworlds of the musical unknown. This would be an excellent introduction to the band for the beginner, though it in no way disappoints longtime fans. In fact, this set, despite its direct attack, is perhaps more "murk und drang" than anything they've done before. Amen. Let it come down.


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SN: 227 | 1007 { 58 } | | WS: 1 | | Cat: 2093