Alec Cheer’s music is like a snake eating its own tail; it has no real beginning or end. Static Traps, his latest addition to Benbecula’s storied Minerals Series, is all found soundscapes and minimal acoustic guitar taken to extreme lengths. While sounds of a vinyl record tracking and a fireworks battle taken in from a distance have their own quaint charm, it’s rare that a song here will actually have a discernible peaks or structure. That’s fine enough for basic ambient sound, like the kind that seeps in through your bedroom window in the early morning, but it’s a hard case to grant that much in the way of artistic control. Yet, you know that’s in him somewhere. “Afterthought” immediately sticks out as a wondrous two-minute exploration of Robbie Basho meets Evans & Doherty folk, with the most spirited plucking on the album. “Optimism In Buckets” is up there too, with a more morose guitar and what sounds like a cello accompaniment. It’d be nice to hear a little more of that, songs that tell you a story instead of driving your out into the middle of nowhere. Otherwise, there ain’t much here that really captures your attention or imagination.
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// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article