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July 14, 2010

Spool (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from November 15, 2006.]

After an interminable hiatus, the experimental ambient jazz duo known as Spool has returned from the far reaches of the cosmos to deliver its long-awaited sophomore album. In 1998, Spool (comprised of jhno, who released several excellent solo techno records in the late '90s, and John Ridenour, a guitarist who did a tour of duty with Poi Dog Pondering among other bands) dropped the bombshell of their debut album, a swirling miasma of lusciousness that rapidly rocketed to the top of the "Best Ketamine Music of All Time" chart. (No doubt that's why the liner notes of the new album thank "listeners throughout the galaxy, in neighboring kingdoms, and across the interstitial dimensions".) Then... deafening silence from the two.

This new record, entitled Spool Saves The World, was apparently recorded in 1999, but only recently saw a final mixdown and release. How's it compare? Like the first album, it's just seven tracks; like the first album, it's a mixture of driving textures and almost Eno-esque retreats. The debut just slightly edges the new one in my opinion, but the new one features the astonishing track "Xok", which is hands down the best Spool track in the catalogue, better even than the sublimely iterative "Joni" (which you can conveniently snag from Epitonic's Spool page). My advice: just make sure you have both of these records in your collection when the singularity hits and you need a soundtrack for humanity's inevitable slide into interdimensional anarchy.

Spool - Xok
Spool - Tuesday

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Posted by Scotto at July 14, 2010 08:00 AM

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