Home Alternative Music Important New Music: Black Duck’s “Black Duck”

Important New Music: Black Duck’s “Black Duck”

Important New Music: Black Duck’s “Black Duck”


If Rhys Chatham hadn’t already executed one thing with the identify, Black Duck actually ought to have been named Guitar Trio. A number of the causes are apparent, like the truth that there are three guys within the band and that every one in all them performs guitar on this debut LP. (That’s all that Invoice MacKay does; Douglas McCombs additionally performs baritone guitar, and Charles Rumback handles the drums.) However this combo additionally represents the acme of a sure type of instrumental guitar music, with roots in its previous and a few sturdy notions about the place it ought to go subsequent. Not solely do these musicians perceive their guitar historical past (as evidenced by some understanding nods to Duane Eddy’s earthy twang and Tom Verlaine’s elegant chime), individually, they’ve made a few of it themselves, taking part in in Tortoise and Eleventh Dream Day, on various initiatives with Ryley Walker and David Daniell, accompanying numerous different pickers onstage, to not point out their very own solo information.

However Black Duck doesn’t sound just like the work of individuals content material to indicate you what they already know. The tunes that every band member introduced aren’t rehashes of prior initiatives, however sturdy automobiles for showcasing the trio’s taut ensemble vibe and shared capability to transmute melodies into widescreen psychological pictures. Greater than half of the album was improvised within the studio, a method that has freed them to collectively think about configurations of sound that aren’t fairly like something any of them make elsewhere. The aptly named “Thunder Fade That Earth Smells” is constructed from layer upon layer of roiling grey noise and tough, crumbling tones. Album nearer “Mild’s New Measure” begins out celestial after which morphs into an unhurried however endlessly involving stroll that feels prefer it ought to go on for days. Don’t let these fowl decoys on the quilt idiot you; that is how guitars are alleged to sound in 2023.

—Invoice Meyer



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here