Deborah Martin — Eye of the Wizard
(Spotted Peccary , 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-01-04
Inspired by the realms of wizardry and alchemy, Martin’s latest release on Spotted Peccary uncovers a mysterious meeting ground between acoustic music, floating ambient, symphonic sounds and powerful melodic phrasing that dances between dark shadows, and bold colorful brilliance. This is closed-eyes headphones-on soundtrack music at its finest, and though the composer’s intent is to evoke images of wizards, faeries, and such, the music presented here could fit any number of possible scenarios driven only by the fertile imagination of the listener, though there is an earthly connection that permeates these dreamlike vistas. The eight pieces herein were created on acoustic and electric guitars, dulcimer, synths, percussion, and loops by Martin (all composed by Martin) along with engineer Matthew Stewart, and guest Paul Frye playing e-bow on the album’s title track; Spotted Peccary regulars Jon Jenkins and Howard Givens both have a hand in the mixing and mastering as well. For those familiar with Martin’s earlier works like Ancient Power and Deep Roots Hidden Waters, this latest collection measures up to those without being a replication of the past, covering new ground using a compatible template, remaining adventurous and innovative. The cover illustration matches the music perfecly, although this is a case where the small CD sized packaging doesn’t really provide the expansive effect that a good old-fashioned gatefold LP would have, but let’s not lament progress, one can be thankful that the sounds herein are not competing with the clicks, pops and surface noise of the old format.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more