High Places

High Places

High Places

High Places

Thrill Jockey

New York’s High Places, the duo of Rob Barber and Mary Pearson, create a busy, so busy sound that burbles, bubbles, squeaks, shifts, saws, sighs, creaks and hums. It’s not an urban, cluttered, claustrophobic busy though — it’s like a teapot whistling in a hall of mirrors cluttered with cardboard jungle scenery and mountains of costume jewelry. In fact, with sonics that are informed equally by avant-garde drone, world music exoticism and bighearted lullabies, sometimes High Places remind this reviewer of a happier and more untroubled Dead Can Dance. (Along with Eno’s Another Green World and, dunno, Sesame Street.) High Places are much less burdened with time and sadness (not to mention gothic finery) than DCD, although they both share an intoxication with sound in all its geographic variety and an insular language and sly smile betwixt the two member principals.

High Places fearlessly straddles the high-tech and homemade, with clear tones, clicks and shuffles sounding like they are created by an endless succession of music boxes, homemade drum machines, Ataris and samplers all latched together with patch chords and brightly colored wires. Excitingly, it’s almost impossible to pick out the source sounds from which this music is made. Rain stick or drum machine? Synthesizer or wind chime? The exception, of course, are the pure, sonorous tones of singer Pearson. At just over a half-hour you’re going to miss this album when it’s gone. Except you might be too busy grinning to notice.

Thrill Jockey: www.thrilljockey.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Nala Sinephro
    Nala Sinephro

    Space 1.8 (Warp Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Looped
    Looped

    A fading film star still can turn up the heat in this outrageous comedy.

  • The Book of Merman
    The Book of Merman

    A parody musical about a parody musical about a parody religion.

  • Flood Twin
    Flood Twin

    Flood Twin. Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Los Lobos
    Los Lobos

    Native Sons (New West). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Adam Bloom
    Adam Bloom

    Sugar Sweet (Indie). Review by Christopher Long.

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith
    Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

From the Archives