Friday, October 23, 2009

Jozef Van Wissem instore!

Hey folks! Thanks for coming out to the Yo La Tengo instore last Sunday, it was kinda crazy but so much fun. The band were fantastic, and so very sweet. They told us they had a great time. If you missed it, sorry, we did have to turn a few folks away at the door 'cause it was packed, but our friend Brady filmed some of it, check it out here.

So, since that went so well, let's keep the instore ball rolling. We've got avant-lutist Jozef Van Wissem playing here on Wednesday, October 28th, at 5:30 pm!

Here's what we said about his last record, "A Priori":
We have become increasingly enamored with the recordings of Dutch renaissance and baroque lute player Jozef Van Wissem, whether it be through his solo output or through his many collaborations with guitarists Gary Lucas, Tetuzi Akiyama and most recently James Blackshaw (Brethren Of The Free Spirit). You wouldn't think that there would be such wide-ranging approaches to such an antique instrument, yet with each release, we're let into a new realm of sonic possibility. Sometimes it's classical deconstructions; using palindromes, mirroring, backwards compositions and cut-up techniques. Sometimes it's more Takoma-style fingerpicking and bottleneck playing. Or more avant, flinging sparse and reductive fragments of loosely connected tones into large voids of silence. Or augmented by subtle electronics and field recordings of airports and other public spaces. On his latest release A Priori, arguably his prettiest and most engaging to date, Van Wissem pushes forward the beauty of the melodic form but frames it in a stark restraint. Using a glacial pendulum-like progression and D minor tuning (the most melancholic of all tunings), Wissem establishes an up-down-up riff taking a pause between each turn before repeating, letting the tones ring out over the empty spaces. Occasionally he lets subtle nuances like an octave change or a bottleneck run appear, yet he takes great pains to avoid filling the space unnecessarily. With each song on A Priori, he explores this limitation to its outermost boundaries that connects each piece to the whole, forcing our headspace to slow down to this intensely meditative pace in order to experience its lovely tonal revelations. If Earth 2 was transcribed for renaissance lute, it might sound something like this. Liner notes by David Tibet of Current 93. Highly recommended!

Van Wissem is also playing some other shows in the Bay Area that week, here's the info on those:

Thursday 10/29 @ Amnesia Bar, SF w/ Mira Cook
Saturday 10/31 @ Totally Intense Fractal Mind Gaze Hut, Oakland w/ Jim Haynes and Gregg Kowalsky

We've always wanted to see Van Wissem so we're pretty excited! And it should be even more, um, intimate than the YLT instore...

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