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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WEINGARTEN & CHARLTON: Where there is Light (2016)

If we have only one album to get in the field of ambient and meditative music this year, put your money on this surprising and fascinating album

1 Attunement 5:29 2 Where There is Light 5:04 3 Refuge 3:54 4 5 AM 7:41 5 Space Race 4:45 6 Comfort in Silence 5:16 7 September Coming 6:13 8 Arabow 4:18 Spotted Peccary Music | SPM-3201 (CD\DDL 42:45) (V.F.) (Eerie ambient music)

Once upon a time, there was a guitar, a very beautiful guitar, and a piano, a very nostalgic piano, which decided to defy all etiquettes in order to unite their contrasts in a surprising musical duel. WHERE THERE IS LIGHT is the last audaciousness of Spotted Peccary. Audaciousness because the legendary American label gets off the beaten track with an album which challenges the borders of a musical genre with a more classic approach which fights for offering its short melodies in the scarlet shadows of a guitar and of its electronic effects. Catherine Marie Charlton protects here jealously her meditative notes and her short skillfully scattered melodies, that she has created and makes glittering on her Steinway, from the bites of a very intuitive slide guitar. Carl Weingarten as for him makes float his shadows and his sibylline guitar layers with a tenderness all dressed in black with a slide guitar as incisive as that of Steve Howe. Both artists so join their thoughts melted in music in a so meditative album as leads us to forget time.

This interesting rendezvous starts with a note of dark piano of which the fall provokes a large ray of reverberations to welcome some other finer notes which fall such as grains on the meditations of a shadow which persists with a slow morphic movement. Catherine Marie Charlton defies this shade and throws tears from her Steinway which tinkle like pearls of solitude while Carl Weingarten persists in dragging out a guitar wave which sounds as that of a synth. Then follows a surprising hyper melancholic and floating ballet where the piano and its crepuscular notes becomes the fellow traveller of a slide guitar and its tears which grind our soul. Attunement throws the patterns of a very beautiful album that nobody expected because of its improbable piano/guitar duel. The title-track is the first nugget of emotions which decorates its parameters. Soft, the piano spreads a bed of meditative pearls with a nostalgic melody which scatters its notes on the thoughts of a six acoustic strings and the groans of a slide guitar always so vampiric. The line of bass which crawls, like a wildcat fawn lying in wait, does very Patrick O'Hearn. Refuge highlights more the guitar on a music which tortures its ambiences as the seconds pass. Carl Weingarten weaves beautiful solos of electric guitar, as well as these intrusive layers which cross the 43 minutes of WHERE THERE IS LIGHT, while the piano is sometimes soft and sometimes choleric. 5 AM highlights more the very meditative piano. The notes are heavy and reflect this feeling of powerlessness which eats away at the anger of the sleepless minds. More discreet, the guitar throws waves which are lying about as vapor of ether and organizes a festival of ethereal loops which seem to run for the infinity. After these almost 8 minutes of night-meditation, Space Race acts like an electric shock. The guitar injects a series of panting loops which run nervously in the background while the piano, totally disconnected from this decoration of race, develops a plan to stay in its pattern of contemplative nostalgia. Very active, the guitar feeds its loops which are sometimes passive and at other moments more aggressive, while letting wander floating tears or some long dying wah-wah. Comfort in Silence brings us back to these ambient settings with a peaceful duel piano/guitar. Sometimes quiet and sometimes intense, the music flows like a spring water on a planet not far from our imagination. September Coming offers a structure as slow as that of 5 AM. Except that here it's the slide guitar which roars as that of Steve Howe in Soon from Gates of Delirium. A slide guitar which offers a structure more Jazz and Lounge in Arabow. It's another track to dream without wanting to sleep which ends one of the most interesting discoveries this year. And if we have only one album to get in the field of ambient and meditative music this year, put your money on this surprising and fascinating album of Weingarten & Charlton; WHERE THERE IS LIGHT

Sylvain Lupari (December 27th, 2016) *****

Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp

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