Six Organs of Admittance


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The natural medium for Ben Chasny's psychedelic guitar playing as Six Organs of Admittance is undoubtedly the side-long LP cut, and RTZ -- his 2009 collection of EP tracks -- contains five of them, plus two more long tracks that alone comprise half of the disc. Though made up mostly of previously released material, RTZ is as complete and flowing a collection as Chasny has collected, and arguably his best. The extended pieces, each in the 20-minute length, provide an overview of the California guitarist's lofty ambitions, folding in smart Takoma school acoustic picking, wild electric guitar solos, deep drones, mood-enhancing chant vocals, and a psychedelic sense of adventurous track architecture. Each builds and evolves in its own way. "Warm Earth, Which I've Been Told" (from a split CD with the Vibracathedral Orchestra & the Magic Carpathians) begins almost as a regular song before a humming organ and distant ice guitar lead back to a final verse. Even "Punish the Chasms with Wings," a 19-minute track that sews together unreleased fragments from a three-year period, manages to find its own arc, with bell-marked fog shimmering into decisive sound walls and dissolving into silver cloud banks before an acoustic denouement. Though Chasny is first and foremost a guitar player, RTZ puts textures on display far more than the solo-heavy moods on many of Chasny's proper Six Organs albums, as well as his electric guitar playing as a member of Comets on Fire. For this, the long and immersive tracks, the mysterious moods, and many other reasons, RTZ ranks as perhaps the single most satisfying Six Organs album for those who love Chasny's far-out sides.

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