Wendy Eisenberg

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Time Machine (2017), 6.5/10
The Machinic Unconscious (2018), 5.5/10
Its Shape Is Your Touch (2018), 6.5/10
Dehiscence (2020), 6.5/10
Auto (2020), 6.5/10
Cellini's Halo (2021), 6.5/10
Bent Ring (2021), 5/10
Bloodletting (2021), 5/10
Editrix: Tell Me Iím Bad (2021), 6/10

Trained at the New England Conservatory as an improvising guitarist, Wendy Eisenberg initially played in the Birthing Hips, documented on the cassettes No Sorry (2016) and Urge To Merge (2017), before releasing her solo album Time Machine (HEC Tapes, 2017 - Feeding Tube, 2018), which contains highly original bedroom pop for voice and guitar. New Hampshire is one of the most original takes on Nick Drake's minimal folk, Oval is a bold venture into blues-jazz, and there are shades of bossanova in Postal Man and Brain Today.

She recorded The Machinic Unconscious (Tzadik, 2018) in a trio with bassist Trevor Dunn of Mr Bungle and jazz drummer Ches Smith (notably Frayed Knotted And Unshorn, Mycoaelia and Zoning), and at the same time released the much more interesting solo acoustic improvisations of Its Shape Is Your Touch (2018), notably the disfigured impressionism of the eight-minute Early November, the petulant dissonance of All Saints and the decomposed blues of Sawn. Here she explored the confluced of Arto Lindsay's no-wave guitar with the guitar music of John Fahey and Leo Kottke. She then regressed to her original bedroom-pop for voice and guitar on the break-up album Dehiscence (2020), with the simple and gentle Yellow Hand, the elegant polyphony of Now Proceed, the Joni Mitchell-esque Write Basic, and the droll Versions of Myself. At the same time she recorded the six guitar improvisations later collected on Cellini's Halo (2021), notably the frantic ten-minute A0 (possibly her peak as an improviser) and the nine-minute fantasia A Fractured Cluster. Auto (Ba Da Bing, 2020) enhanced her bedroom-pop with the discreet electronic arrangements of producer Nick Zanca and with a rhythm section, resulting sometimes in a convoluted form of post-post-rock (I Don't Want To, The Star, and especially The Moon) and elsewhere in atmospheric ballads (like the nocturnal Urge and the lugubrious Slow Down). The banjo songs of Bent Ring (Dear Life, 2021) hardly match the brainy achievements of previous albums and tend to drift into cheerful lullabies (Mental Images, Analogies, Evening Song). Bloodletting (2021) documents a 2019 performance during which she indulged in lengthy improvisations on both guitar and banjo.

She also played in Strictly Missionary with saxophonist and keyboardist Chris Pitsiokos, bassist Richard Lenz, drummer Kevin Murray and percussionist Nick Neuburg, documented on Heisse Scheisse (2021).

She also recorded Tell Me Iím Bad (Exploding in Sound, 2021) with a trio named Editrix. The album's post-rock songs are an apt display for her truculent guitar style, notably in the metal onslaught of Bad Breath and in the truculent jazz-folk-rock of The History of Dance. She's, however, a very limited vocalist, and her vocals are a major drawback on the music.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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