Julian Lynch, who was still a student in ethnomusicology when he debuted,
specialized in lethargic bedroom psychedelic folk,
like a more literate and slightly inebriated
Will Oldham, a style pioneered on
the cassette Born2Run (2009) contained the single
Droplet On A Hot Stone and the two-part Banana Jam.
Orange You Glad (Olde English Spelling Bee, 2009)
was the mature manifesto of his simple yet cryptic art.
Several songs are wrapped (buried?) in a blurring fog, with
Venom being dominated by spaced-out guitar,
the waltzing and organ-enhanced Andaza sounding like a late-night jam between Neil Young and My Bloody Valentine,
Winterer One setting a new world record for
"extremely dilated whispered litany"
(the Holy Modal Rounders without the madcap brio),
and Seed indulging in aimlessly loose garage jamming.
But then there is a different album, a surreal parade of unrelated experiments
that begins with the comic electronic novelty Rancher and swings
wildly from the
sunnier romantic jazzy instrumental interlude Mercury (just about the
opposite of the first songs) to
the relaxed lounge-y Caribbean jazz-soul Winterer Two.
The eleven-minute The Flood is a different beast altogether,
a concert for thick distorted droning instruments and raga-like percussion.
Mare (Olde English Spelling Bee, 2010) was en even more blatant display
of the musical erudition of the artist, drawing from a wide range of cultures
while boasting a much cleaner production.
Unfortunately most of the songs are disposable. There is little to salvage in
the laid-back country-rock Just Enough or the laid-back Santana-style
soul-rock In New Jersey .
There are good ideas but left unfinished:
Stomper and Travelers are half-baked numbers
that one would not be surprised to see resurface, heavily reworked,
in future recordings.
the slightly more lively and entertaining Ears and the
humble vignette of vintage instrumental music A Day At The Racetrack
are towering compositions (but they would have been left over from the previous
The notable exception is
The surreal wordless lullaby Ruth My Sister, by far the album's standout.
This feels more like a transitional EP than the well-designed continuation of
a serious project.
The slightly more professional
songs of Terra (Underwater Peoples, 2011) marked half a return to form,
but not quite.
Terra opens in romantic, contemplative, jazzy Oregon-ian mode, altough the rest of the song is a casual unpretentious
There are other songs that open with a few seconds of instrumental charm
(best is the neoclassical harpsichord-like keyboards of Canopy)
but none makes much of an impact.
His instrumental music is generally more interesting, including his ventures
into ambient music (the suspenseful droning meditation of Ground) and
minimalist repetition (the hypnotic On Eastern Time).
The bedroom psychelidec litanies are no longer his forte (Back pales
in comparison with the otherworldly gems of the first album).
Lines (2013) capitalized on the facile songs like
Going and the whispered lounge-oriented ballad Carios Kelleyi I,
but the artistic highlights were rather hidden in the
dense arrangements of
Yawning (a less melodramatic Robert Wyatt
and one of his best songs yet),
Horse Chestnut and the eight-minute closer Shadow.
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