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Performer Notes
  • The trance music project of ex-Skullflower guitarist Matthew Bower continues unabated with the exceptional Bliss. All fans of drone will find something to love on this feast of tone, texture, and harmony. Anything goes in terms of instrumentation; if a sustained tone or rhythm can be extracted from it, Bower is going to use it, whether it be violin, organ, guitar, tone generator, power tool, or percussion. Though drawing on the ideas of avant-garde theorists like La Monte Young, Bower's music is constructed using the tools of rock and lo-fidelity recording techniques; the result is chaotic, loose, messy, and powerful. The first disc is more unsettling, as tracks like "Columbine Kisses" and "Star Sound" boil over with dark electronic energy. The second CD opens warmer and gentler, as "Dirty Joke From Outer Space" combines gurgling analog electronics, bird songs, and a life-affirming shimmer of feedback. "DJFOS 2" sounds like a roomful of music-making toys, including a cheap drum machine and assorted keyboards, united in rebellion against their human masters. The voice of a child, perhaps Bower's daughter, even makes an appearance on "Dance of the Blessed Spirits," cooing and harmonizing against the bowed violins and variable electronic hum. By turns ethereal, frightening, and soothing, Bliss does not disappoint. ~ Mark Richardson
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