David Grubbs
An Optimist Notes the Dusk

[Drag City, www.dragcity.com]

I'm ashamed to admit I've not followed David Grubbs output closely since the days of Gastr del Sol. His latest album leaves me with a feeling of dread and uneasiness. I tend to shake and quiver after hearing music that is left to fend on its own without specific conclusion. Sure, there are songs here, but it's the experiments that work best. Not since "Thirty Minute Raven" has Grubbs made such a definite statement as he does within the confines of this record. The album is broken up into two unequal sections - the songs and the instrumentals. Songs are superb and hold their own very well. "Gethesemani Night" is a lonely man playing his electric guitar. While Nate Wooley plays occasional trumpet sways, Grubbs sings [grumbles?] in a nonchalant manner and plays riffs that stop in mid air. Electric riffs that populate "An Optimist Declines" are charged with possibilities, but possibilities of what? Should Grubbs be rocking-out in a more direct fashion is not for me to conclude. The weariness and second-guessing on "Eyeglasses of Kentucky" is revelatory. As Grubbs strums on the strings of his electric guitar, I tend to take in the pauses and silence that is often placed between. "Storm Sequence" points to Loren Connors as someone that is tops on Grubbs' list of influences. The stark stops and pauses make a number that is charged with electricity of what could be. The album ends with a twelve minute "The Not-so-Distant". With Michael Evans on delicate percussion and Nate Wooley's muted trumpet, Grubbs takes on a field of atmospherics. Slowly grumbling noises filter in and out of sight. Creepy stereophonic sound that is masterfully crafted and delivered in a most patient way. This is music that goes nowhere but then you ask yourself, where do you want your music to go? Should I have been expecting a more definite conclusion in these six numbers? Should I be disappointed that I'm left with more questions than answers? Absolutely not!

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ The Third Estate - Agonistes
+ Judy Henske & Jerry Yester - Farewel Aldebaran
+ The Peace - Black Power
+ Gianluca Becuzzi/Fabio Orsi - Muddy Speaking Ghost Through My Machines
+ V.A. - Musical Brotherhoods from the Trans-Saharan Highway
+ V.A. - Bollywood Steel Guitar
+ B.Fleischmann - Angst Is Not Weltanschauung
+ The Clock Machine Turns You On - Vol. 2
+ Speedy J - Red Shift
+ Housemeister - Who Is That Noize - Remixes
+ Christian Fischer - Bryzant Games
+ Jean-Claude Ades - Finally!
+ Transmission - Sublimity

- - - - - - - - -

+ Chiwoniso - Rebel Woman / Hilde Marie Kjersem - A Killer for that Ache / The Alps - III / It's a Musical - The Music Makes Me Sick / Angles - Every Woman is a Tree / Marianne Nowottny - What is She Doing? / Los Angeles Electric 8 - Log Angeles Electric 8 / Gilbert Isbin / Jeff Gauthier / Scott Walton - Venice Suite / The Owl Service and Alison O'Donnell - The Fabric of Folk / Max Eastley / Graham Halliwell / Evan Parker / Mark Wastell - A Life Saved by a Spider and Two Doves / Zbigniew Namyslowski Quartet - Live at Kosmos, Berlin / MIJ - Yodeling Astrologer / Gregg Porter - Final Final EP / Acida - The Greatest Hits / Joel Futterman / Alvin Fielder / Ike Levin Trio - Traveling Through Now / Random Touch - Duologue / Lisle Ellis - Sucker Punch Requiem / Junk Box - Cloudy Then Sunny / Claudio Parodi - A Ritual Which is Incomprehensible (to the smile of Pauline Oliveros) / Matthew Shipp Trio - The Multiplication Table / Howie B vs. Casino Royale - Not in the Face / Ascend - Ample Fire Within / Luomo - Convivial / Keiji Haino / Masami Akita - Kikuri - Pulverized Purple / Stereo Lisa - Anno Onno Monno / Christophe Bailleau & Neal Williams - On Soft Mountains We Work Magic / Henriette Groth / Lotte Anker - Du Fugl
+ Steinski - What Does It All Mean? 1983 - 2006 Retrospective
+ Anthony Pateras / David Brown / Sean Baxter - Interference
+ Ann Magnuson - Pretty Songs & Ugly Stories
+ Thomas Feiner & Anywhen - The Opiates - Revised
+ Lux Nox - S(M)S
>> David Grubbs - An Optimist Notes the Dusk
+ Jamie Lidell - Jim
+ Carl Michael von Hausswolff - Perhaps I Arrive - Music for Ataturk Airport, Istanbul
+ Pantaleimon - Mercy Oceans - Heart of the Sun - Tall Trees EP
+ Muslimgauze - Jaagheed Zarb - Jah-meArab
+ Arsenije Jovanovic - Galiola - Works for Radio, 1967-2000
+ Radio I-Ching - The Fire Keeps Burning
+ Pedal - Pedal
+ Various Artists - Teaism - Music Inspired by The Art and Culture of Tea / Various Artists - Kalk Seeds - Karaoke Kalk Compilation No. 2 / Various Artists - Sesame Street Playground / Various Artists - Peter Grummich Plays Staubgold - Dinner Music for Clubbers / Various Artists - Polish Village Music 1927-1933 / Various Artists - FabricLive 42 - FreQ Nasty / Various Artists - Shapes 08:02