Liberated Atheist [7-inch ; Dirty Pillows]

I go back and forth about the 7-inch all the time in my head, flip-flopping as to whether or not I think it can be a viable medium for showcasing music, and whether or not I find myself enjoying having to get up from the couch every three to five minutes to flip them over. I really appreciate the stylized objectivity and scarcity of the lathe-cut record in principle, this one in particular being that it’s only available in an edition of 20. But unfortunately, this release also has me a little puzzled. Geoff is a musical presence with power, electricity, and a keen prowess for improvisation… it’s just coming at us on the wrong medium this time. It’s a bummer that the disc only contains two out of three sections available from the musical piece “Liberated Atheist,” as right off the bat this feels somewhat incomplete. Side A encompasses a section of the piece dominated by electric guitars, and the B side introduces a Fender Rhodes piano, so what we are missing is any kind of an introduction, we’re just sort of flung into the middle of this already-developing jam. Both pieces hover in modal stasis with a warm bass guitar laying down a solid quarter-note pulse foundation for drifting solos and looping layers of texture to stack, swarm, and swoop above. Geoff’s ability to weave complimenting lines and find interesting contrapuntal relationships between melodies and amplifier feedback is compelling enough for a solid thumbs-up here, but the best thing about this music are the tones he pulls out of his instruments, and especially the guitar — strong and crisp, but also buttery smooth, instantly pleasing to the ears, like Brian May’s. Stylistically, Geoff’s bluesy turns of phrase, especially on keys, have me thinking of Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way, only a little bolder and heavier, more out front. Or maybe this is what Noveller might sound like if she were super into hair bands. In any case, it’s plenty good enough for me to get past my grievances about how the release was constructed, beckon you readers to check out the full piece streaming below, and also look forward to a full, complete physical issue from this talented musician in the future.

Links: Dirty Pillows


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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