Sonic Reducer: Endings, Lara Manzanares, Fuguers Cove

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Here is a recording—only 70 copies of the cassette version with artwork by noted Czech artist Frantisek Kára are available, by the way—by two notables with local roots, composer Raven Chacon and guitarist John Dieterich of Deerhoof. As one might expect from two of Burque’s authentic members of the musical avant-garde, Endlings is dangerously dark and dreamlike, filled with noisy nuance and informed, expectant playing—as if these two take their orders from a source so far removed from the ordinary as to be classified as magik. This is an intense work, and compositions like “I Make it Fall” and “I Believe That She Did It Her Way” are ample proof that Chacon and his many co-conspirators have the market cornered on relevant, metallic experimentalism—in an age that would seemingly otherwise embrace light and fluffy with aplomb.

Lara Manzanares Land Baby (Kitchen Sink Studios)

Singer-songwriter Lara Manzanares won best album honors at this year’s New Mexico Music Awards for her album Land Baby. Here she carries out her mission with focus and drive, employing a voice both powerful and emotive, backed by instrumental conceits that reflect her deep, desert-borne connection to la tierra in Nuevo Mexico. From simple constructions like “Census Song” to more fleshed out produce such as “Rapunzel,” Manzanares’ voice shimmers, shines and soothes. Her backing band is top-notch too; the recording is as shockingly clear as a summer, star-strewn night out in the wilderness. Though she employs the now-famous female tremolo so popular now in the genre to some distraction, her range is magnificent and her overall tone as pure as the land itself.

fuguers cove In Twenty (A free Sampler) (Self-Released)

Justin Bendell is the brains behind fuguers cove, a lo-fi psych-rock project that is among the best to come out of these parts. Though Bendell—an author and educator living the mountain life up in them there Manzanos—doesn’t seem keen on live gigs, his work continues to show a mastery of a notoriously slippery medium that has been dominated by unforeseen, inside-the-studio geniuses like Robert Pollard. Despite his insular leanings, Bendell is a serious practitioner and this sample of recent work demonstrates the whys and wherefore of that contention. Much like Bee Thousand, there’s too much delicious stuff on this recording to list all the fabulous flavas, but please put your ears into action for these, at a minimum, playaz: “Encyclopedia of Stars,” “I Choose the Moroccan Dance,” “Colonel Cactus” and “The Fuel Burners.” Damn.

The original cover of Endlings

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