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coverpic flag US - New Mexico / US - California- Full Moon 242 - 05/21/16

Dieterich & Barnes
The Coral Casino
Living Music Dupli-cation

Gentlemen John Dieterich and Jeremy Barnes has for sure got a long CV within the field of experimental recordings. Dieterich with his fabulous Deerhoof [Sufjan Stevens has stated that Deerhoof's The Runner's Four, 2005, was the best album of the decade], who put out their super, 12th album La Isla Bonita in 2014. There is a rumour of a new Deerhoof record in the making. Dieterich has also worked with Mike Watt (as the Hand to Man Band), Xiu Xiu (guest appearances and production/mixing duties), Nels Cline (guest appearance), Busdriver (guest appearance), Half Japanese (production duties), Danielson (guest player), and A Hawk And A Hacksaw (production/mixing duties, guest player)... and that is where Jeremy Barnes comes in. Barnes and his spouse Heather Trost have been running their A Hawk And A Hacksaw project for several years (through six studio albums), as well as running the Living Music (LM) Dupli-cation label. Barnes has also released records with the free-jazz improv band Bablicon, he has played with Broadcast and The Gerbils, and he was the drummer for the legendary Neutral Milk Hotel. There's another rumour going that there will be something new from A Hawk And A Hacksaw this year as well.

The Coral Casino sees the two gents Dieterich & Barnes experiment as a playful instrumental duo. On the eleven-track-long-album (well, "Mummers" is just a 23-second-long intermission) they combine their creative super skills as eminent musicians - guitar and drums, respectively. The stomping and 'narrative' single "What" (it was launched as a taster from the album) was a nice foretaste, but now as the full album is up and out, it is nice to find an albumful of cool tricks. From the opening "Out and About", you know this will be an interesting car ride. Speaking of car ride - you should check out the video for the brilliantly swirling track "People Person". When listening through one can find many a spectacular rhythmic and melodic improvisation. The album has been called 'childish and sophisticated', which is not a surprising tag for this collection of compositions. The adventurous "Philae lands on Comet 67p_Churyumov-Gerasimenko" is a tribute to the robotic spacecraft Philae that landed on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. This was in fact the first satellite to land on a comet. Some of these songs are sounding quite strict and some are way off into improv-prog-land. That said, even if all these songs are instrumental it is quite easy to connect with (most of) them. Yes, they feel/sound quite clearly and obviously like storytelling melodies. Some of the songs (sounds/themes) makes it easy to recall the world of Deerhoof. This might have something to do with Dietrich's trademark guitar sound. Other times, other passages makes you believe that Barnes has brought in some of his influences from Eastern European folk music.

I find some of the tracks a bit to 'tough' to listen to, but here's plenty of neat tracks such as "Out and About", "What", "Special Questions", "Philae...", and the way cool "People Person". If Dieterich and Barnes were to plan an European tour they should team up with Norwegian duo Aiming for Enrike, as these two duos would make a nice double bill. Meanwhile you should drop in at Dieterich & Barnes' casino.

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