Saturday 27 September 2014

Xylouris White, Goats

I’m getting behind on my album reviews. Here are a few of the most immense new releases to come my way… 

Xylouris White 


(Other Music Recording Co.) 

It’s the lute, but not as Julian Bream would recognise it. That is, George Xylouris comes from Crete, and plays with a madly uninhabited feel, full of Arabesque tonalities and Mediterranean fire, yet with an elegance that comes from long immersion in the culture (his father is famed lyra wildman Psarantonis). Jim White adds an unpredictable element on drums, and rattles around those unspooling lute lines like a goat in springtime on a Cretan mountaintop. And though the music is often beautiful (‘Psarandonis Syrto’) it never settles or stays still, so that serene harmonics might evolve into brooding unease (‘Suburb’), or, just as spontaneously, the duo might conjure up a rustic rumble of thunder (‘Chicken Song’). George’s vocalising on ‘Fandomas’ expresses an ancient sublimity that free jazz seldom achieves. 

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