Bonnevill

Travels in Constants V.2

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    8
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The third installment in the Bonnevill EP series is as ambiguous, spooky, and beautiful as its predecessor, Pelican. Dirty Three guitarist Mick Turner and violinist Jessica Billey take the shimmering rise and fall of their seeming obsession with the ebb and flow of moon tides and transform it into a sonic equivalent. Unlike any of the other instrumental acts out there (Rothko, Mogwai, Four Tet, et. al), Bonnevill, aided by Michael Krassner on piano, makes a completely organic (in feeling) brand of music. Emotional and dynamic restraint are the touchstones. Turner's guitar, ever painterly in its intricate weaves of single notes and shapes, offers Billey's violin a palette to work from, one that is full of muted color and gauzy forms. She makes them sing in a sparing, haunted voice and feeds Turner more material to move from his opening space onto another spare yet glorious harmonic plateau, as on "Tigermoth" or the swooning "Blue Kite Dog." In the 21 minutes of music provided here on six tracks, the listener is completely transported into an emotional and, dare it be said, even spiritual space where reflection is actually necessary. The instruments willfully rise and fall, coming together, parting, and entwining around one another with found sounds and washes of texture and/or percussion; it is positively mesmerizing, yet utterly devoid of cheap tactics or forced sentiment. In fact, there is no sentimentality here at all -- only honest emotion delivered without brute force. This is the sound of almost unbearable beauty. Period.