(English) Gongfarmer 36

The New York City Jazz Record parla di Gongfarmer 36

Jim McAuley’s second solo release, Gongfarmer 36 is a followup to 2005’s Gongfarmer 18, which introduced the LA guitarist’s avant-acoustica to a wider audience.
A mixture of inner- and outer-spaces, McAuley’s musical cosmology is both sparse and expansive, constrained and amoebic, a sound grounded in bareboned Mississippi Delta slide blues, often hunkering on a single-note drone, yet at the same time embracing an ethic of never-repeat-anything-you-did-before…ever. The results are not easy to describe, but the artistry is palpable. Tracks like “Second Blooming” and “Una Lunga Canzone” evince an affinity for flamenco techniques like rasqueado (finger strums), tremolo and golpas (rapping) whereas “Nika’s Waltz” sounds a bit like the opening of a raga performed on sarod (Indian fretless lute). There are many ‘blue notes’: the microtonal clusters over Travis-picked bass notes on “Blues for John Carter”; the swooping Hawaiian steel slides on “The Eyelids of Buddha” and the diddley- bow triplets of “Saltarello/Jumpstart”. On “Another November Night” McAuley’s unorthodox orchestration mimics a koto while the shuffling and scratching of “Joy Buzzer” are more ambiguous. But these are only approximations of what you might hear for yourself

Tom Greenland

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