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Artist: DE GENNARO, MATTHEW
Title: Adversaria
Format: LP
Label: TU-134
Country: Germany
Price: $22.00
"Some people fly under the radar by accident, some by design. Matt De Gennaros been making music since the 90s, and has collaborated with the likes Alastair Galbraith and Scott Tuma, but he makes even those homebodies look like gauche self-promoters. Which is both a shame and entirely a propos, because while this lovely record, like everything else Ive heard him do, is well worth hearing, it probably wouldnt sound like it did if it was made by a guy with a more boosterish frame of mind. De Gennaro lives in a 150 year-old, one-room schoolhouse in Michigan, where he studies ancient philosophy for fun and records music that defies easy dating to decade or century. Streichzither and Sweetbreads, for example, are played on a viola da gamba, and each sounds like it could have been a hit before Shakespeare was born. Each bowed note rings out with a resonance that could doubtless be explained by tuning nerds, but who wants explanations when the music takes you back to a time when nothing smelled like gasoline? An acoustic guitar instrumental called Jimmie Rodgers in Sierra Leone uses backwards tape and frontwards harmonica to point in at least two directions not suggested by the title; follow its pointing vectors and youll be so dizzy, youll hug a tree for balance. Flying Saucer Attack might have raised the flag for rural psychedelia in England, but it flies in Michigan now. But the one that really gets me is I Hear You J. Starck, on which some wheezy keyboard (A clavioline? Harmonium?) on a slowed-down tape sounds a funeral hymn straight out of the Scottish highlands; a crackle in the background suggests that the pier has already been lit. 350 copies." - Bill Meyer.

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