Friday, May 20, 2016

Dan Phelps - Arc (2016)

This just came in and truth be told, I was anticipating it like crazy. In fact, I had this expectation that it would be greater than 2011's Modular, which I consider to be a cornerstone in, let's call it, groovy ambient. Or modern tribal manipulations. Who cares about labels anyway? I know I don't. Honest.

I must say that I had not preordered it, or sneak-peek on snippets but I was patiently waiting to buy it on its release date, or what was May 17, 2016 (there's a chance I bought it the day after, oh well). So essentially I knew nothing about the album's orientation or whatever, I just had a feeling it would be Phelpsy. What I surely knew though, and I would too be to excited to hide it if I was Dan, is that the drums are handled by none other than mr. Jim Keltner. Jim Keltner. Phew. You know, that dude you've been dancing to his grooves even if you were unaware. I'll just name a few: The King (huh, that King), CSNY, the Beatles minus Sir Paul (of course I'm talking personal bug albums here), Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and the list goes on. Jim Keltner.

As Dan puts it, he wanted to improvise with mr. Keltner, and well who doesn't right? As such, the songs took shape around those sessions and since, they had been manipulated to reach their current form. Atop of the improvs, several exquisite musicians tagged along to result in a very thick, very groovy, very much forward record. Some songs involve 3 drummers simultaneously (and yes judas, this has a certain aural purpose) while others flow from a Frisell-type-of-mantric-groove to a fucking suite of sorts (call me bunker). Awesome strings arrangements. Damn me this proves to be a masterpiece.

Somewhere in the liner notes, Dan describes that by revisiting this, he gets visions, shapes and colours. He's right. To me it sound like a beast that takes up space in your emotional hard drive and occupies certain neurons while modifying certain interconnections at different sonic times. As of this writing, I've listened to the album maybe 15-20 times. There are parts and feelings I swear they were not there previously. Say what? I'll know more about it later. How much later? No idea.

You got a clue hopefully. You'll love it. Really. SUPPORT the artist here!!!

It Grows On You from Dan Phelps on Vimeo.

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