Friday, October 09, 2009

Music Notes-- Repercussions

Richard Souther's projects typically include either solo piano material a la his magnificent "Douglas Trowbridge" LPs for the old Meadowlark label or the electronica of his Narada days or the material he produces under the moniker Under the Radar. Repercussions seems to be a project that mixes the two with thoughtfulness and warmth.

I confess I have a preferences for Souther's acoustic piano works. Memories of Twilight and Reminisce are frequently on my playlist, especially when I need something soothing and reflective. So it should be no surprise that "For Philip" is my favorite tune on this project. I don't know who Philip is, but he has one very beautiful song.

But Souther's work is not mere mood music or wallpaper. Songs like "Follow Me (Dance Re-Mix)" and "Loch Ness" may contain simple looped melodies as underpinnings, but they are worth listening to closely for the other instrumentation and recorded sounds and where those take the songs. And what Souther does around and with the guitar riff on "Alice Absynth" is outstanding.

Two songs make use of recorded voice: "Twenty-Three" and "Doughgirls." The first of these combines a bluesy rendition of the 23rd Psalm with an aural palette that suggests real comfort during real storms. The second begins with a recorded conversation that put me off a little at first, but repeated listening has helped me understand that dialogue is also part of the world's musical landscape.

Even if one merely wanted a taste of what Souther's recordings are like, this is a nice introduction. But I think most people listening are likely to return to this project again and again.

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