Charles Rumback / Ryley Walker

Little Common Twist

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Drummer Charles Rumback and guitarist Ryley Walker came together as a duo in 2016 to create the outstretching improv sprawl of their five-song album Cannots. Sometimes abstract and harsh, other times introspective and subdued, Cannots pitted Walker's virtuosic folk-informed guitar playing against Rumback's flowing jazz percussion. While the results weren't always seamless or pretty, the players locked into a riled-up unison. Recorded over various sessions between 2017 and 2018, Little Common Twist represents a follow-up to the wild noise and rolling exploration of Cannots. The album begins with the pastoral lull of "Half Joking." In this mellow, folksy song, Walker's Bert Jansch-schooled acoustic guitar playing wanders kindly with steady, swimmy drumming from Rumback. The easygoing tune is soft and summery, with pitter-pattering drum figures playfully pushing Walker's fingerpicked melodies forward. Much like Cannots, the different pieces here don't stick to any one style. The tentative "Self Blind Sun" follows no implicit structure, but sputters with light, friendly sounds from both players. "Idiot Parade" is more groove-oriented, finding the duo joined by bassist Nick Macri for swells of feedback and drone that ride Rumback's fluid, reverb-effected drumming. Elsewhere they dabble in ambient tones and spirited odd-timed rhythms. The album is more focused and less aggressive than its predecessor, dialing back the unfiltered noise impulses that spilled out on Cannots and leaning more into fingerstyle guitar work, as with the gorgeous and meditative suite "Ill-Fitting/No Sickness." Despite some stylistic diversity, Little Common Twist still feels largely consistent. The songs here offer a deeper view into both Rumback and Walker's individual talents as players and their profound chemistry as a unit.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick