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Boomkat Product Review:
'Tombstones' is the spellbinding first studio album by Cal Arts co-chair and acclaimed composer, Michael Pisaro. As mentor and collaborator to Julia Holter and John Maus and with a career at CalArts Composition and Experimental Sound Practices department intersecting those of Ariel Pink and Human Ear Music boss, Jason Grier, Pisaro's influence on the current avant-pop vanguard is duly noted. For 'Tombstones' he's assembled an eight-piece ensemble counting Tashi Wada, Julia Holter, and Jason Grier, among others, in a spectral dismantling of pop music, from The Beatles to DJ Screw, rendering their samples with psychoacoustic technique into drily diffuse and glacially paced compositions as challenging as they are beautiful. It's certainly not pop in the strict sense of the word, but avant-pop or even folk at its liminal extremes of perception - elegantly insisting engagement and reflection.