LOREN CONNORS – Red Mars

Family Vineyard

In the eternal “take it or leave it” struggle that has always characterized this writer’s relationship with the music of Loren Connors – a man whose abundant output has often been the subject of excessive glorification in relation to the actual value of certain releases, yet worthy of respect for the coherence of his artistic position – Red Mars is one of the records that seem to have found a favourable place in my current listening disposition. A short instrumental album, five tracks for guitar literally drenched in reverb – one fantasizes about a large room and a microphone placed several metres from the amplifier, maybe facing a corner – with the whale-like moan of Margarida Garcia’s electric double bass adding a second layer of low-frequency anguish to the initial “On Our Way”. Looking for details is completely useless: since the very beginning, the best choice is abandoning yourself to the almost preternatural qualities of the jangling chords, not caring about “liking” or not. Connors’ sound in this occasion is made even more fascinating by the magnification of elements that the average hi-fi guitarist would never want to see: earth loop, for example, is a constant presence in “Red Mars II”, accompanying the protagonist’s scattered notes in vacillating meanderings across a peculiar type of stupor. The entire set is pervaded by this combination of alienness and suspension, the feel of being lost somewhere without a way back cancelling any possibility of analytic pointlessness.

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