CandyRat is never at a loss for talent, a label that works hard to find only the best, but their bent of the last year or two has been interesting. Having conquered the post-acoustic guitar challenge, wherein the imprint literally almost reinvented the instrument, sights were turned to the lyrical. This Hunter van Larkins CD may be the best expression so far of that horizon, and the antecedents have been impressive, especially in Andrew White.
What this means is that one does not get the spectacular virtuosity of cats like Antoine DuFour or Andy McKee but more a Michael Hedges groove, concentration devoted to imagery and ambiance. Two Australian gents, Ross Hunter and Owen van-Larkins, compose the group, a duo, and they collude on spacious interlocking patterns that embrace serial minimalism without quite making it evident, soon bleeding over into lyrical narrative that shifts and transposes to catch the entirety of environments wrought from four hands and two minds. Like a good set of haiku, imagery is everything, and, just as with that same 17-syllable form, understatement is more important than what's explicit, though there's plenty for the ear to grab hold of. It's an interesting exercise.
Myriad is an episodic CD, a panorama of beauty from the POV of constant adjustments of perspective. Myself a hiker who repairs to the Colorado Plateau every chance he gets (Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef etc.), I've a strong affinity for the Australian outback though I've never been there. When hearing cuts like Tapestry, that attraction waxes considerably, as one hears not only the landscape but also echoes of the aboriginal dreamtime and fields we know not yet feel quite kindred to. Myriad is a disc that approaches the metaphysical without becoming obvious about it, subtly weaving trance musics with broad pastels, limned snapshots, wide vistas, and smile-inducing melodies, mostly gentle, sometimes insistent, ever beckoning and always unignorable.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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