Ignatz

II

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On his second album, Belgian avant-folkie Ignatz continues his unique take on New Weird Americana, soaring above his freak/free-folk peers (Vanishing Voice, No-Neck Blues Band, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Jackie-O Motherfucker) on a peyote-fueled fever dream, a journey to the outer expanses and hidden inner depths of the collective psyche of humanity. Various plucked instruments (electric and acoustic guitar, lap steel, banjo), a wheezing accordion (?), strange synth gurgles and drones, a crusty drum machine, incoherent vocal mutterings and yodels, all recorded on a cheap mixer that sounds like it was dug up in a time capsule constructed from a burlap sack -- you can positively hear the sedimentary layers on this primitive, elemental faux-artifact of a recording. As bizarre as they sound at first, there's nevertheless something eerily familiar about the proceedings ("He Deals with Love & Her Eyes Glaze," "I Was Not There," and especially "Silver Moon...Shine Sun! Sun! Sun!," an "ethno-forgery" worthy of Sun City Girls) as he reaches into the dark corners of the soul and unearths unintelligible yet universal truths, evoking a Folkways series of "found" recordings from the vestiges of an ancient insane asylum. Best when listened to in an Appalachian shack with a potbellied stove, a bare cot, a rocking chair on the porch, and a month's supply of bourbon and angel dust.

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