Monday, November 20, 2006

Shedding – What God Doesn’t Bless...

Having made little ripples with post-rock group Parlour (Temporary Residence), Connor Bell eventually stepped out of the shallow water and into the deep end of solo work as Shedding. What God Doesn’t Bless… is his second release and it’s a quiet, seeking and delicate work stretched over three long tracks more indebted to European lowercase jazz and electronics improv that algebraic rhythms. Bell cites Eric Dolphy as a major influence, especially the jazz clarinetist’s own abiding interest in the sound of birds and the natural world as they relate to composition. The sound of Shedding is, appropriately, an unlayering of musical strata down to the bedrock where it’s organizing principles sunder, leaving unbound sounds to trail off seeking new relationships. A more traditional framework of drums (by Joey Yates) and bass open and enclose track 2, “W,” before dropping away to leave behind an elemental drone adorned by cuckooing electronics. The album closes with a tortuous electronic threadwork that describes an arid. rolling landscape with lowing notes and the grain of air. Bell manages to effectively improvise with himself in a rich exploratory manner.


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