Bent Arcana – Bent Arcana (2020) [FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Bent Arcana – Bent Arcana (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 38:17 minutes | 704 MB | Genre: Alternative, Indie
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Castle Face

Bent Arcana is the product of five days’ worth of improvised sessions which took place at John Dwyer’s home studio in December of 2019. Aside from Dwyer and fellow Oh Sees family members such as saxophonist Brad Caulkins and keyboard player Tom Dolas, other participants included TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone on modular synthesizer, Sunwatchers bassist Peter Kerlin, violinist Laena “Geronimo” Myers-Ionita, and percussionists Andres Renteria and Ryan Sawyer. The music collected here ends up drifting in a few different directions, but they all share the free-form, cosmic music of the ’70s as their starting point. Opener “The Gate” is an extremely casual jam with shuffling snares, saxophones which rock back and forth, and gentle, skillful guitar soloing. Easily the album’s most exhilarating moment is “Misanthrope Gets Lunch,” a fiery mixture of kinetic drumming, wah-wah guitars, and a variety of spaced-out effects. Following the initial burst of energy, the track stretches out to the farthest limits while retaining its loose rhythm. “Oblivion Sigil” is much more of a slow burner, working away at another percolating rhythm while spicy guitar licks scratch away and a playful, hypnotic horn riff dances in the background. The musicians never feel like they’re aiming for one particular sound, but the most invigorating cuts are inspired fusions of electric Miles and the jammier end of Krautrock. Other tracks, such as the floundering noise bursts of “Outré Sorcellerie” and the brief horn duet “Mimi,” offer interesting counterpoint but don’t particularly go anywhere. Not that “going anywhere” is the biggest concern for this ragtag ensemble. The small army of musicians continue to merrily pursue their muse, unconcerned with the human logic of time and space. – Paul Simpson


1. The Gate 10:17
2. Outré Sorcellerie 04:51
3. Misanthrope Gets Lunch 04:19
4. Mimi 01:24
5. Oblivion Sigil 11:07
6. Sprites 06:19