Weingarten, Carl - Local Journeys

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Multiphase Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:19:00

Fresh off a brilliant compilation that will hopefully gain him and his recordings some new adepts, Carl Weingarten releases his newest offering in a sonic move that sets him square back in the field of band existence with none less than bass virtuoso Michael Manring. Along for the ride is long-time collaborator Brian Knave, whose percussion further propels Local Journeys away from the cinematic nature of its predecessors, but in turn does nothing to obscure Weingarten's well and wonderfully established slide guitar and dobro style, one that transpires emotion with a diaphanous purity. Focus is shifted from the Far East to Weingarten's native America and compositions now resemble structured jam sessions of an ethereal character, moving closer to, say, a placid and ambient-inclined Robert Fripp with a tendency for sweetness. And that is exactly what Weingarten and cohorts provide in the eleven tracks that constitute this album: sweetness with a sense of wonder.

Do not think, however, that this is another Living In The Distant Present. Far from it. The music contained herein has not a trace of minimalism in it; no small repeating phrases, no shimmering quality obtained by interlocking patterns. Instead, the music is developed by broad textures with plenty of space and structures that still keep some of the cinematic nature of Weingarten's later steps of evolution. Above it, Weingarten glides with a grace that few can presume to master in the way he does, and below it, Manring uses his poignant bass glissandos to great effect. In fact, the combination can work so well that it provides two gems in the dramatic sadness of "The Far Turn" and the wonderfully childlike wonder of the title track, one of the best compositions in Weingarten's career to this day. However, as the rest of the album proves, this is a combination that still requires some axles to be greased in order for it to work to perfection.

It's not that there are any bad tracks on the album. There aren't. "SleepTalk" is a bit too mellifluous for its own good, and the fact that the dog bark samples on "Cafe Timba" were synchronized with the music might not have been the best choice in the world, but those remain nothing but details of little significance. The crux of the issue instead resides within the balance of the record, as it seems too placid and laidback by the end, and certainly could have done with at least a couple of pieces more in the spirit of "Local Journeys." One of the elements that made Weingarten's previous offerings such successes was the sense of equilibrium achieved throughout them, and it is a feature that went somewhat missing this time around. Simply put, Local Journeys needed a bit more surprise due to its character.

Surprise or no surprise, however, Weingarten remains an extremely well-seasoned musician, and thus his latest effort is still enjoyable, if not up to par with his most recent output. The tenderness and nuance with which he slides between notes is simply a wonder to hear, and constitutes a style that is all his own and should be heard by more people. For long-time fans of this resplendent entity in the world of modern music, it is no doubt a source of excitement that chances and changes are being taken and made with this new approach to songwriting and sound, and it should very well be. Why? Because if the proverbial axles are slightly greased by the time the next album comes by, the result will be breathtaking.

Similar Artists: Dead Can Dance, Robert Fripp

SleepTalk (5:25) / Gravity Steps (5:21) / Local Journeys (4:18) / Rendezvous (2:47) / Cafe Timba (5:31) / How Many Doors? (6:03) / Mourning Star (5:07) / Night Is the Light (5:41) / The Far Turn (4:04) / Cassini's Blues (5:08) / Dust Covers the Sky (5:30)

Carl Weingarten - dobro, slide guitars, ebow, effects
Michael Manring - bass, ebow
Brian Knave - drums, percussion, electric percussion guitar
Robin Bonnell, Marcie Brown, Jessica Ivry - cello
John Baker - piano, synthesizers
George Gousis - keyboard, samples

Submergings (1981) (w/Gale Ormiston & Phil Neon)
Delay Tactics - Out-Pop Options (1982)
Windfalls (1983) (guest app.)
Delay Tactics - Any Questions? (1984)
Living In The Distant Present (1985)
Delay Tactics - Dreaming In Colors (1986)
Laughing At Paradise (1988)
Primitive Earth (w/Walter Whitney) (1989)
Critical Path (w/Walter Whitney) (1991)
Slide Of Hand (1991)
Pandora's Garage (1992)
The Court Musicians - At The Court Of The Chera King (1993)
Redwood Melodies (1995)
The Acoustic Shadow (1995)
Silent Night (w/Kavi Alexander) (1998)
Blue Faith (2000)
Escapesilence (2002)
Hand In The Sand - A Collection 1990-2004 (2004)
Local Journeys (2005)
Invisibility (w/Forrest Fang) (2006)
Lost In The Air (2008)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: August 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: carlweingarten.blogspot.com
Hits: 1503
Language: english


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