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Willis Earl Beal 

Acousmatic Sorcery (XL)


Not for the faint of heart, the album opens with an unsettling cyclic meditation, with the fittingly nonsensical title "Nepenenoyka", played (possibly) on the high pitched lap harp for which the song is named. A toss off perhaps, but it's a jarring introduction to an album that's as raw and honest as they come. No pretention about trying to sound pretty or palatable, nor is the Chicago-born Beal trying to be hip with an impersonated sloppiness. Acousmatic Sorcery's power lies in the primitiveness of these unselfconscious song-cycles that sound like barking spiritual incantations to a world beyond or sweetly crooning deep-folk to equally faraway loved ones.

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Vol 25, No 21
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