Glissandro 70, recording on Montreal's Constellation label, are the creation of Torontonians Craig Dunsmuir and Sandro Perri. Perri is also known as Polmo Popo, and Dunsmuir plays in Polmo Popo's live rock band incarnation. Glissandro 70 are an entirely different animal. Dunsmuir wrote the material with Perri, and Perri produced the set with help from Dunsmuir. These five tracks incorporate a ton of guitar and electric string-based variations (from simple riffs to melody lines and even percussive effects based on pulsing rhythms created from two- and four-string patterns), some sound effects, and vocals. "Something," the record's opening cut, is an exercise in glissando guitar. Related in some ways to Michael Rother's taped experiments, it is also something more, with intricately played patterns staggered via digital delay, rhythmic undertones brought to the fore with middle to high string lines stacked upon one another and staggered ever so slightly to create beat, breath, and pulse. When bass strings enter the frame, they add an entirely new rhythmic component to the proceedings. "Analogue Shantytown" is introduced by a harmonica breathing the word "shantytown" over and over again, as a background human voice echoes the word audibly and in whispered form before the instruments stroll into the tune wholesale. Voices and guitars entwine and separate, each adding a new piece of the tune. It becomes a funky, chanted mess that would not have been out of place on a latter-day Talking Heads record. "Bolan Muppets" has nothing to do with Marc Bolan on the surface, but its simplistic approach to measure, distance, and groove is not far removed, either. "Portugal Rua Rua" could be an Andy Partridge outtake. It's quirky and herky-jerky but also beautifully engaging as pop. The album's longest cut -- and its closer -- is "End West." Maracas, a bass or two, and hand and vocal percussion create a dreamy, nocturnal atmosphere, a sound world that unravels slowly while rewinding itself simultaneously. Percussion instruments sound strange and dislocated given all that's preceded them. Here too, skeletal funk and Pan-African rhythmic pulses wrap themselves over voices that chant, entering and leaving mysteriously, all of it a hypnotic, nocturnal shamanic bliss fest. This is engaging, warm experimental music that borders on the gorgeous; it creates its textures seemingly organically and lets them float, hover, drive, and dance unhurriedly toward the listener. Glissandro 70's self-titled CD is one of the more auspicious debuts to come down the pike in a long while.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek