I got the nicest note yesterday from Tara Key about this review, a collaboration between Key (who was and is the main driver behind Antietam) and Rick Rizzo of Eleventh Dream Day. It’s called Double Star, and it’s lovely…out this week on Thrill Jockey.
As an album, Double Star is unusually serene, its cuts following minimal riffs over light-filled landscapes, changing very little as they go. There's a degree of variation from track to track. "Rizzo Starts," for instance, is built on a sunny Appalachian blues lick (and both he and Key are from Kentucky, so why not?), while "Insanity Stomp" has a Sonic Youth-ish bent distortion to it, one guitar keeping time, the other arcing and fuzzing with abandon. Yet even the most electrified songs here have a calm center, a mode of circular repetition and drone that clears space within the noise. Moreover, the quiet ones, "Roundabout Ways," for instance, marshal the most extreme sort of clarity. Here, a three-note riff stops just short of being a melody, through repetition gaining a kind of mystical surety. Each note is lovingly shaped and lingered on, framed by little explosions of drums and cymbals.
Also, this is kind of cool. I'm on the masthead at Blurt now as a contributing editor. Just happened yesterday.