Unwrapping an album by Ryley Walker is always a bit like freeing a Christmas present from its wrapping paper. If you like Walker, you know you can't be disappointed, and yet it's always completely open what exactly is waiting inside the wrapping. Currently Ryley has two new albums under his belt, the song album "Course In Fable" on his own new label Husky Pants and a drone album with Chicago permanent innovator David Grubbs.
"Course In Fable" is reminiscent in many ways of Ryley's much-lauded work "Primrose Green," except this time he weaves his influences from folk and soul to minimal music and psychedelic to avant-garde jazz much more subtly. "'Primrose Green' certainly wasn't as clearly defined as 'Course In Fable,'" Walker agrees. "The new album is much more in line with my personality. I feel it's more genuine and deeper than my previous records. However, I have to admit that I wanted to make an album that sounded like Peter Gabriel on the Thrill Jockey label."
It's been a good 20 years since Chicago was a Mecca of cross-genre metamusic. Bands and projects like Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, Town & Country, Isotope 217, The Sea And Cake, Gastr del Sol, Red Red Meat or The Red Crayola always found new combinations of rock, jazz, new music, techno, free improvisation, country, blues and much more. Out of pure helplessness they invented the term "post-rock" for this mix. The singer, guitarist and songwriter Ryley Walker is a generation younger than the musicians of the mentioned projects, but he wants to follow exactly their aesthetics. The nine songs on his new album build astonishing bridges between all these states of aggregation, which often do not follow any obvious logic. "I strongly oriented myself to bands like The Red Crayola, Gastr del Sol, Isotope 217 or the early Tortoise", Walker confirms his large-scale sound confusion.
The eclipsed check - The 150 greatest rock anthems of all time
Stomping, combative, polemic, ecstatic - rock anthems can present themselves in this way and in completely different forms of mood. In any case, they have always stood for the great emotional theatre in popular music. The eclipsed editorial team has brought together the 150 most exciting representatives of the hymn-like song from six decades and allowed showers to trickle down their backs several times. Welcome to the stage of larger-than-life gestures!
It seems as if the complete new record is based on a single note on which all the songs unroll. That the new CD by the Chicago composer lacks the spontaneous ferocity and naïve innocence that distinguished its predecessor "Primrose Green" is immediately obvious.
When Ryley Walker lifted the demarcation line between jazz and folk with his CD "Primrose Green" last year, it was not only the experts who listened. There came a young Schlaks across the pond, who seemed more like a Eurorail tourist with a backpack and a travelling guitar than a visionary who uncovers the hidden synapses of global musical memory.
STEVE HACKETT - Die Stunde des Wolfs
Lange Steve Hackett has held up the flag of progressive rock of the seventies with his releases, to finally celebrate this high phase in his own cause once again with "Genesis Revisited" and at the same time reap the deserved harvest of his steadfastness. For this and above all to the new album, the concept album "Wolflight", the smart Brit is our question and answer.
TOTO - contract is contract
It is as if the time stood still in 1969/70 or better: as if someone had turned it back. To a moment in history when a series of brilliant musicians revived the English folk scene. And that's exactly how the 25-year-old American Ryley Walker sounds: very, very British. The man from the Midwest initially floated around in Chicago's noise scene.
It doesn't happen that often that you insert a CD and leave everything you're busy with lying around. Ryley Walker's "Primrose Green" is a candidate for such a loss of control, because such an album has not existed for a long time. It builds from old virtues of free improvisation a completely new variant of folk. But the young singer-songwriter from Chicago also has both feet on the ground in very different traditions.
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.