California's John Root, also known as Level Anchorage, is many things. He's an avant garde-leaning solo musician who's shared stages with everyone from Mick Turner to Tara Jane O'Neill, yet on Biota he blends his love of "sonic soundscapes" with a more organic, pastoral acoustic base that sounds more skewed-folk than country. Over these strangely effective and unnerving beds, he sings in a voice somewhat like East River Pipe's, intoning short sets of striving lyrics like "We're planting a seed to avoid the conflict of ignorance" while touching on land ethics in the bovine-oriented title track. He's at his best when he adds a Robert Fripp-like twisted electric on "Moderate Supplements," which plays cognitive dissonance tricks with the brain while listening. Rarely is straightforward acoustic music this trippy and full of otherness.
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