Boomkat Product Review:
The well-decorated Chicago veteran (Codeine, Gastr del Sol, Red Krayola) returns to his Blue Chopsticks division of Drag City with Prismrose, finding him on guitar in close instrumental dialogue with Eli Keszler after last year’s Woodslippercounterclatter with Susan Howe.
Giving much of the vinyl over to a pair of longer pieces, Prismrose is aptly described as “what an electric guitar sounds like in David Grubbs’s hands — with Eli Keszler dropping by to pummel some drums — now that we’ve stumbled into the year 2016.”
In the longer parts, the players may be seated, but they dance around each other like skilled modern dancers, prowling and stalking each other’s moves with a loose yet pointillist discipline that unfolds like an abstract canvas or gradually lit stage in the theatre of your mind. Rhythm and space are made fluid, interchangeable elements at their digits and limbs, working most impressively in their 11 minute nod to Tony Conrad, How To Hear What’s Less than Meets the Ear.
Elsewhere, Grubbs combines music from his pal in Wingdale Community Singers, Rick Moody, with lyrics by Walt Whitman on the record’s only vocal piece, Learned Astronomer, and we find him working more succinctly, even lyrically, with Keszler in the blossoming instrumental The Bonsai Waterfall.