The Raccoons


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Following the beautiful debut by the trio of Jon Mueller, Hal Rammel, and Chris Rosenau, Mother is a double-CD set that first appeared packaged in a limited edition of 100 wooden boxes (hopefully it will see another cheaper edition so that more pairs of ears can listen to it). The graphic and aural standards set by Raccoons carry on. Disc one contains a live performance at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse in Madison, WI, late 2001. Disc two was recorded in the studio early 2002. Drums, electric and acoustic guitars, and Rammel's one-string guitar come together in search of a place between silence and sound. Quiet investigations lead to a land where styles become irrelevant, virtuosity understated, and raw energy subsumed. Above the delicate interplay of Mueller and Rosenau, Rammel's one-string drones and wails away. His use of prepared tapes, CDs, and vinyl is less convincing, but in general they contribute a welcomed unsettling element. One cruel exception is found in the first minutes of "Thirteen Hour Hunt," where his aimless needle-dropping distracts from Rosenau's Roger Smith-inspired guitar daydreaming. Mother requires attentive listening, otherwise it just floats by unnoticed. If there is such a thing as cozy free improv, these guys found it.