International Surrealist Bulletin
Communitas [CS; Ephem Aural]

Very little is surreal about the band who dubs itself the International Surrealist Bulletin, nor does it seem to share much in common with its historical tomes. Yet the music of Communitas does invoke a sense of metaphysical community. The influences travel first class across the varied styles and energies of musical communities the globe over. It’s a fantastic, mythical rhythm that permeates this first meet-and-greet I’m having with ISB. And it’s one I never want to end, even as I flip over the tape. This is largely due to the folksy, earthy atmosphere of the songs. Sounds such as cleaning, cooking, and conversations seem to fill in the gaps. It’s as if Communitas is a transcontinental block party, playing out as the neighborhood comes together to pitch in and help out with the decorations and food. There are moments when the atmosphere tenses, such “Mandala I,” but it feels more like a quick cooling point to shade those in the direct heat. Otherwise, this is a full-on explosion of playfulness between a world that sees itself having little in common with its neighbors, when in fact there is little that separates us.

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