Sonic Reducer: Micro Reviews Of Ila Cantor, Pure X And Pistolera

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Thelonious Monk, M.C. Escher and Barry Melton (guitarist for Country Joe and the Fish) got together one weekend and knocked out an album. Actually, guitarist Ila Cantor composed the tunes on this album, and they conform to her own startling and lovely non-Euclidean logic. As insistent as rock and roll and as supple as jazz, these songs reveal Cantor’s special genius for unpacking what appear to be small musical ideas and discovering an expanding universe of expressive possibilities. Her adept collaborators, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Tommy Crane, seem to know just what Cantor is getting at. (Mel Minter)

Pure X Pleasure (AcŽphale / Light Lodge)

Pure X—formerly known as Pure Ecstasy—is a slow rock band from Austin. Nuanced and atmospheric, Pleasure sounds like a moonlit saunter at the bottom of the ocean. Heavy fuzz, ample feedback and a pulsing drone lend the album an eerie psychedelia in slo-mo feel. Suggestive, soft-focus album art may make viewers feel like a boy who’s found a vintage porno stash. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Pistolera El Desierto y La Ciudad (Luchadora)

This is the third album from NYC-based neo-ranchera band Pistolera, wherein the band is joined by a great horn section courtesy of another NYC group, La Excelencia. The recording is a bit sterile and some rough edges might be in order here, but the lyrics are pretty and everyone’s on top of her/his game. The slower tracks featuring the least instruments and atmospheric city/desert noises are most powerful. The rest of the songs are dance numbers. Awesome accordion. Sounds like something you’d hear during an evening at the NHCC—and that’s where Pistolera is playing July 25. (Geoff Plant)

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