Monday, October 18, 2010

Barn Owl - Ancestral Star (Thrill Jockey, 2010)


Barn Owl - Light From The Mesa








Barn Owl is a name everyone probably knows. It's Evan Caminiti & Jon Porras, two dudes who have put out plenty of records all over the place, Root Strata, Digitalis, etc. Ancestral Star, however, is their Thrill Jockey debut, and it's a fucking knockout.

Most of this is pure guitar drone, with some extra piano, strings, harmonium, & bric-a-brac, and a little percussion or delicate plucking here & there. Just describing parts of a single animal, though. The drones are fucking HEAVY. Seriously. So so massive. Big enough to blast me into unconsciousness with three cups of coffee running through my veins. They're the hardened sun baked drones straight from rusty Californian deserts. Wide open dust caked steel, endlessly ringing through the black heart of daytime stars. Lonely, blissful, & dark, dreaming of a distant oasis with the weight of a dozen buffalo on your shoulders.

The real killer here is the 10 minute title track. It fucking burns, white hot feedback soaring through the empty sky, embarrassingly euphoric buzz & hum bleeding through the speakers, finishing with a wandering haunted cloud. Some of the best I've heard from Barn Owl.

Ancestral Star is unbelievably good. They're master crafts of the new American raga desert psych thing. Regardless if that's your style, this is meant for everybody. It's essential, it's fucking grand, and it'll simultaneously melt your heart & your face.

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