When grappling with experimental music, listeners are well advised to disregard the inevitable expository accoutrements about the composers’ intentions or philosophy or school. Los Angeles-based octet Everlovely Lightningheart accompanies its gorgeous 40-minute improvisational noise piece Cusp with an inane album cover collage of decoupage woodland creatures, irrelevant CD art depicting an ancient diagram of the elemental spheres of classification, and press materials packed with pseudo-intellectual counterculture babble for the unlucky journalist. Listeners who venture beyond the willfully obtuse packaging will encounter experimental improvisation at its most engaging.
On Cusp Everlovely Lightningheart crafts a soundscape of organic sounds floating on electronic washes that serves equally well as background or subject for your scrutiny. Electronic waves and subtle loops create an immense sense of space around and between other more natural sounds, the totality of which convey impressions of pins dropping, cranks creaking, and floorboards moaning meshed with guitar scrapings, cymbal rattles and more recognizable traditional instruments. Cusp's pacing subtly waxes and wanes in intensity allowing the listener to alternately pursue her own thoughts or consider the band’s choices at her own discretion. The record reflects the rare work of experimental artists whose music could be as engaging in museum installations and modern dance accompaniments as it would be at an indie rock club performance. Cusp is slated to street next week on Hydrahead. -- Mr. Obb, clicky clicky Correspondent