Favorite

Rhythm & Views 

John Convertino

Improbably, the latest side project to emerge from the Calexico family tree is a one-man effort from the drummer. Ragland is a strange, dark, lo-fi collection of instrumentals recorded with only three instruments: piano, vibraphone and drums. Convertino plays all three himself, and recorded all of it in his living room. The result is 12 unique tracks unified by a spacious, delicate slowness and a curious degree of ambient noise. At points, if you listen carefully, you can hear the birds outside his house.

Those hoping to find even a trace of the Calexico sound on this record will find themselves out of luck, save the drums, which are unmistakably the excellent Convertino. Most of it is not particularly melodic, and it's difficult to remember how any of the tracks go, even immediately after listening to one. What's memorable is the mood and the feel; it's a reliably evocative album and will likely grow on those who give it a patient listen.

It has its gorgeous moments. On "Piston," the vibraphone is played with a slow vibrato on its long, lingering notes; the result is a sound as haunting as Mike Oldfield's soundtrack from The Exorcist. "Bell Curves" is striking in its originality, and fans of Convertino's drumming will be dazzled by his sudden, free-form flourishes. Nestled among these 11 original compositions is one cover; amusingly, it is "Home on the Range." In general, Ragland sparkles, albeit in unfamiliar colors, and is certainly worth owning.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Standing Tall: Jillian and The Giants

    Jillian and The Giants’ smoky debut rises on folk, soul and rock and fishes flying in airplanes
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • HOCO Delights

    Y La Bamba bring it to Tucson as part of the HOCO four-day music love fest
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • More »

People who saved…

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation