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For those not following Bill Orcutt's drift into increasingly ear-friendly orbits in his recent live sets, Bill Orcutt -- his first solo electric studio album -- shocks with its space and sensitivity. On this eponymous record, Orcutt mines the expansiveness and sustain possible on the electric guitar, letting notes spin out and decay at the edge of feedback. His pachinko-parlor pacing, marked by unraveling clockspring accelerandos crashing into unexpectedly suspended tones, is still in evidence. But here, his developing melodicism maps a near-contemplative mental realm, orbiting St. Joan-era Loren Connors more than the cascading treble clatter of his duo LPs with Chris Corsano and others. From the first notes of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman", there's a lucidity and slow-burning lyricism that make Orcutt's plunges into barbed-wire fingerpicking all the more striking. While no one's about to mistake Orcutt for Jim Hall, you could probably play this for your jazzbo friends (should you be unlucky enough to have them) without raising any eyebrows. Orcutt's track selection mirrors his obsession with American popular song in its most banal manifestations, as radically reimagined via acoustic guitar on a variety of releases, including 2013's exhaustive Twenty Five Songs 7" box set, and the Editions Mego album A History of Every One (EMEGO 173CD/LP, 2013). Many of the songs from those two releases are here -- but stretched into new arrangements that explore the upper regions of the guitar neck (hitherto unexplorable on his shakily-intonated acoustic Kay), and lighting up new corners of each arrangement with a sensitivity born from years of reinterpretation. The result is a languid, freeform drift through Orcutt's internal cosmos into galaxies unknown to their original interpreters -- and occasionally, Orcutt himself. Most striking is "White Christmas", its careening low-register melodies crashing into complex chords that transcend Orcutt's primitive four-string fretboard. Orcutt's original compositions are equally striking. One of them -- "The World Without Me" -- is unique to this album, and notable for its trebly flurry of Clapton-esque 12th-fret drizzle. "O Platitudes!" by contrast, spins ever-faster in the cadence of a hand-cranked music box, before grinding to a near halt, its higher-key electricity standing in for the moaning vocalizations on Orcutt's acoustic rendition as heard on his 2014 VDSQ LP. With its deep-space beauty, harmonic complexity, and dark dissonance, Bill Orcutt is a stunning landmark in Orcutt's form-destroying trajectory.

"John Coltrane transformed the inner architecture of jazz, throughout the mid-1950s and 1960s and long after his premature death at age 40 in 1967. No other American musician could be said to be at the spiritual center of the '60s musical universe as Trane influenced Albert Ayler, La Monte Young, Jimi Hendrix and everybody in between. Cosmic Music, originally self-released by Alice Coltrane in 1968 and later issued by Impulse!, features two tracks ('Manifestation' and 'Rev. King') by John Coltrane's legendary final quintet that were recorded in San Francisco on February 2nd, 1966 and two more ('Lord Help Me To Be' and 'The Sun') from Alice Coltrane's very first session as a bandleader, recorded six months after her husband's passing. 'Manifestation' opens with the group already in mid-flight: Trane's fierce tenor leads the way with Pharoah Sanders' blistering sax and Alice's powerful chords hearing his call. On 'Rev. King,' Trane introduces a lyrical theme and then the composition erupts into fiery incantations, while Jimmy Garrison's bass throbs alongside the propulsive, gravity-defying drumming of Rashied Ali. Foreshadowing her majestic debut, A Monastic Trio, 'Lord Help Me To Be' brings Alice's celestial piano playing and inspired improvisations to the foreground with Sanders, Garrison and drummer Ben Riley rumbling in tow. 'The Sun,' a meditative ballad with subtle urgency, perfectly closes the album's contemplative circle. As John Coltrane recites on the final track, 'May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation.' "

Black Truffle presents a new issue of Annea Lockwood's classic 1970 tape piece "Tiger Balm", unavailable on vinyl for over thirty years, accompanied by two exquisite unreleased works for percussion and voice. "Created while Lockwood was living in the UK, the side-long 'Tiger Balm' is a singular work within the cannon of tape music. Inspired by research into the ritual function of music, the piece explores the possibility of evoking ancient communal memories through sound. Breaking entirely with the dynamic language of the musique concrète tradition, Lockwood uses a select palette of mainly unprocessed sonic elements chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics (a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman's breath, a plane passing overhead), presenting at most two sounds at once. As one sound flows organically into the next, their shared characteristics are highlighted, opening a space of dream logic and mysterious associations between nature and culture, the ancient and the modern. The B side presents two pieces for percussion recorded here for the first time. 'Amazonia Dreaming' (1987), performed by Dominic Donato, uses unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Unorthodox techniques and materials (marbles, chopsticks, a plastic jar lid) transform the snare into a resonant field of sensual textures. 'Immersion' (1998), performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, is a slow-moving exploration of gentle beating tones, performed on marimba, tam tams, and gong. Like the other two works presented on this LP, it provides captivating proof of Lockwood's belief in the complexity that deep listening can reveal within seemingly simple sounds." --Francis Plagne Comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with archival pictures and liner notes by Annea Lockwood; Includes the score to "Amazonia Dreaming"; LP design by Stephen O'Malley; Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.