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BLACKSHAW, JAMES - The Glass Bead Game

Format: LP + CD
Label & Cat.Number: Young God Records YG40
Release Year: 2009
Note: newest album by the British 12-string guitar - mantra wonder, on Michael Gira's label! (CD has same material as LP)
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €17.00

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"I'm extremely pleased to announce that James Blackshaw will now be releasing his absolutely spellbinding music via Young God Records. He has received attention as a 12-string guitar prodigy / virtuoso. He used to be in punk bands in England, but then he started listening to people like John Fahey, Robbie Basho, etc., and I assume locked himself in a room for 12 hours a day for several years and just played constantly. It takes intense discipline and a religious commitment to get to the place where he's at with his instrument. But his music isn't about his "skill." It's not showy. It's deeply meditative--the secret language of a pre-thought, pre-dream place. "Blackshaw plays soulful and kaleidoscopic, ever-shifting mantra cycles of incredible beauty. Just his guitar by itself, with its swirling overtones, cascading notes, and a thousand points of light, resembles an orchestra, but with further orchestration--piano, strings, wind, and vocals--the music is positively cinematic and mesmerizing. "The 18-minute-plus gem on this record is 'Arc,' performed on piano with the sustain pedal on full throttle. The rush of sound created by the overtones from Heaven, augmented by strings and wind, when played at proper (full) volume, is one of the most thrilling pieces of music I've heard in years. It takes a rare and single-minded courage and commitment to make music with such a powerfully positive force at its heart, especially in these troubled times. This is healing music that reaches for what's possible, just beyond our grasp. It is stellar... "Blackshaw is joined on this record by Joolie Wood (Current 93, Simon Finn) on violin, clarinet, and flute, and John Contreras (Baby Dee and Current 93) on cello. Lavinia Blackwall (Directing Hand) is a classically trained singer and contributed vocals." [Michael Gira/Young God Records]

"... We totally love how his style and aesthetic remains intact, whether hes sitting at the piano or with a guitar on his knee, his close attention to detail and use of hypnotic, emotionally captivating melodies shines throughout. Notes flickering and shimmering about as overtones soar above like clouds.
Theres so much about this record that you can get fully wrapped up in, so much detail it would be impossible to absorb it all in just one listen. Weve already been listening to Glass Bead Game for over a week, and still new details keep popping out of the woodwork. And to top it off, beautifully fitting, earth-toned artwork of various birds of prey perfectly adorns the album with some magical visual hex. By far our favorite Blackshaw album to date and quite possibly his best, highly and fully recommended!" [Aquarius Records]