Argo Nuff

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Haditha (2020), 7/10
Concrete Beast (2020), 5/10
Argo Nuff (2021), 6/10
Annebolyn (2021), 7/10

Argo Nuff, the brainchild of Bay Area multi-instrumentalist Avery Levitan, debuted with the five-song EP Head in your Hands (2019) and the album Haditha (2020) in the freak-folk vein. The seven-minute litany Buried Seals & Assorted Fish is perhaps too amateurish but the 19-minute Haditha has a more robust instrumental backbone: a weightless filigree of ghostly guitar tones that morphs into whirling psychedelic visions which decays in a loop of feeble noise with distant echoes which suddenly explodes in industrial drumming and chaotic gunshots.

Unfortunately, Concrete Beast (2020) leans towards the amateurish freak-folk side of his art.

On the other hand, the pure madness of Argo Nuff's disjointed, senseless music begins to actually make sense on Argo Nuff (2021). The dense psychedelic fog surrounds the unborn songs is after all the whole point. Nvsvn could be a cover of the Velvet Underground and Cacophony Soundtrack is a gentle folk-rock lullaby, the exact opposite of its title.

Annebolyn (2021) contains two 17-minute ambient post-rock pieces. Annebolyn is a slocore melodic fantasia/suite in several seamless movements, from reverbed guitar strumming to garage-rock jamming and to ambient electronica with low-level noise and to gentle folk strumming and to melancholy guitar and synthdecay... Despite the found voices and spoken words, it's an instrumental journey, an introverted but no less transcendent "far foward voyage" in the tradition of John Fahey. grafts several episodes onto a base Annabolena begins with a misty electronic nebula and symphonic keyboards in the vein of new-age music but a ghostly distant chant starts a sequence of transformations (rock, sound collage and folk) until we return to the slowly revolving nebula. The guitar intones (or, better, whispers) a simple melodic pattern but is rudely interrupted by a violent distortion that ends with a loud feedback buzz. Not quite as spontaneous and organic as Annebolyn, this second piece is more complex and ambitious.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )