Sonic Reducer:
 Alibi V.27 No.9 • March 1-7, 2018 

Sonic Reducer

Ethan Reece Wayward Journey (Self-released)

Ethan Reece makes music intended for intercourse with filmic fantasias. Everything from 2 minute trailers to screen epics are within this 20-year-old Burqueño’s ken. A new release by Reece focuses on this forte, providing listeners with an opportunity to journey to other worlds. As a set of compositions, it’s obviously program music, rich with detail, full of organic, orgasmic orchestrations that are guided by a solid use of dynamics, theme-development and a melodicism that eschews counterpoint. Interestingly, another child prodigy who went on to become a great American film composer, Erich Korngold, was criticized for his sprawling, epic compositions as well. Dude went on to write standards like the scores for Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood. With the strong and sustained vision heard here, one can envision Reece taking the same rollicking but arrow-strewn path as his predecessor did, nearly a century prior.

Meredith Wilder Los Pandos (Self-released)

Los Pandos comes after Meredith Wilder’s 2017 recording The Immoralist. As listeners recall, Wilder made Burque her home through 2016, fronting the folk rock ensemble Wildewood whilst in residence in good old Dirt City. The Immoralist marked a turning point in Wilder’s career; she now works outta Colorado and recorded this new EP while working as an artist in residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos. “Cranesbill Geranium,” is a haunting affair that drifts and shimmers right in front of you before slipping away on the wind. Wilder’s cover of Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You” transforms echo-soaked, adolescent doo-wop into a forlorn, shoegazy anthem that I am 100 percent certain woulda thought was being sung by Kim and Kelley Deal had I heard it anywhere else but Bandcamp. The intense intricacy of the last track confirms Wilder as an essential voice in this world and el norte too.

Levi The Poet Cataracts (Self-released)

I left Albuquerque in 1994 and went to Uxbridge. I hated slam poetry. It was everywhere, especially in rock clubs. On weeknights, dudes with poet voice and dames with super-articulation of the hands ruled joints like The Dingo Bar. When I got back to Burque at the end of the millennium, that shit was as dead as a doornail, thank Hashem. Ironically its derivatives are alive and well in Europe if not here at home. That’s where Burqueño flow-master Levi the Poet continues to get a substantial draw. His work is interesting in that his spoken words are often at dynamic odds with the music in the background. That technique—and this album—remind me of the time The Doors recorded themselves jamming out while Morrison read his obscure poems. When it works it’s glorious; when it doesn’t, it sounds more contrived than Uncle Junior singing Italian love songs. Same here, dudes, same here.