Jenks Miller

Approaching the Invisible Mountain

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Consisting of a half-hour piece divided into six parts -- collectively named, slightly confusingly given the album name, "Babylon Destroyer" -- Approaching the Invisible Mountain is a demonstration of Jenks Miller's affinity for and participation in the now well-established tradition of experimental American guitar. However, instead of simply trying to be a new John Fahey or Robbie Basho or similar, Miller embraces electric guitar here, favoring steady contemplation at the start of the album rather than the kind of intricacies one normally associates with that general style. While not groundbreaking as such, it is a useful statement of purpose, and by eschewing fuzz in favor of clean tones and controlled reverb, when things do get busier in the playing at points the effect is rich and lush without being kaleidoscopically overwhelming. The sense of deep space suggested by the pauses during the overall performance makes Miller's playing all the more lovely to behold, and if ultimately the six parts feel more like gentle variations around a core theme instead of a progression from place to place, it does not dull the impact of the songs at all.

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