It has always been hard to describe the music of Daniel Bachman (formerly known as Sacred Harp) without mentioning a few old Takoma Records folks like John Fahey or Robbie Basho. This time, it is impossible. According to Debacle Records, the title Grey-Black-Green is a reference to Basho’s “Esoteric Doctrine Of Color & Mood.” Sounds pretty rad, right? Right. Basho apparently created a sort of color wheel that coincided with the circle of fifths, and subsequently certain moods and emotions are associated with each key. As Bachman himself puts it, “Grey-Black Green is the most fucked up sounding one.” Basho’s model states that D minor (or frog minor?) is equivalent to grey-black green, that the associated mood is “anguish death, and full sweetness,” and that it is the “most solid model, with tight boundaries.”
When listening to the music that Daniel Bachman makes or that Robbie Basho made (or any of the original American guitar raga guys, for that matter), it is easy to hear it as aimlessly wandering improvisation that is effortlessly streaming out of the musician, when in fact there are some very strict rules being followed. Bachman restrains himself to D minor through the entire album, traveling through grey and black and finally ending in green. As Basho already explained, the journey is dark and full of anguish, yet emits a genuine sweetness throughout.
Listen to “Grey, Take 3” below, a particularly lovely part of Grey-Black-Green, which you can stream entirely on Debacle’s Bandcamp.
• Daniel Bachman: http://debaclerecords.bandcamp.com/album/grey-black-green
• Debacle: http://debaclerecords.com