SCOT RAY / STEUART LIEBIG – Drift And Throttle

Self Release

Scot Ray: slide guitar, effects; Steuart Liebig: bass, effects

How to lure a listener into rather untypical pieces (all but one extending from 10 to 14 minutes) when, in this blank-expression-while-chatting-on-an-iPhone era, the attention span of an average human ranges from 4 to 8 seconds, as opposed to the 12 seconds of a goldfish? This was the fundamental nucleus of a fleeting email exchange between yours truly and Scot Ray as the latter was so sweet to regard the reporter with this duo’s release.

Given that I am sorely missing the ultra-speedy reflexes and overall intelligence of my late goldfish Bubacco (certainly superior in many aspects to the proprietors of selected far-from-brilliant mugs starring on the covers of music magazines), a useful suggestion might be: “just abandon yourselves to the sounds, as apparently tough to swallow as they may appear”. We’re not telling you that this is the only way to approach Drift And Throttle, not at all. On the contrary, various among its features are pretty much, er, human. In the right acceptation. Meaning that lines and traces to follow exist in there, which will lead to a momentary gratification of the spirit.

Interestingly, the work – recorded without overdubs in a single day – is introduced as a series of “looping” improvisations. Indeed the reiteration factor is crucial; there’s even a track – “Mantra in 7” – shaped upon an insistent fragment featuring a praying monk. No actual “hypnosis” is warranted, though, as Ray and Liebig exercise an incisive sensibility to turn their instruments into tools for disruption. Not necessarily harshly: echoes of unauthorized blues, Eastern shades in the phrasing and mild dissonance in quiet settings give us the privilege of deep breathing along a sequence of genre-less scenarios.

Not to mention the whales singing in “Arcade Apocalypse”.

Essentially, this is a perfect specimen of ego-deprived music. Two artists in a room, leaving everything in the hands of “the moment”, seriousness transpiring most everywhere. I’m sure that the amplifiers in the studio were grinning.

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