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Master Musicians of Bukkake : Far West

This is unashamedly music for musos… there are rapid and unpredictable chord changes, sudden transitions in tempo and then multipart drone

Guided by the noble hand of Randall Dunn the Master Musicians of Bukkake have captured the zeitgeist of music connoisseurs and given us a spiritual noise masterpiece.

There are a cast of players seeming centered around certain names; Mr Bungle, Eyvind Kang, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Secret Chiefs 3, Neurosis (and Neurot extras) that have pioneered a pan-cultural and syncretic hyper-folk. This is unashamedly music for musos… there are rapid and unpredictable chord changes, sudden transitions in tempo and then multipart drone.

a pan-cultural

and syncretic

hyper-folk. This

is unashamedly

music for musos

During the 80s and 90s this music would have strictly been in the weird section of the an independent shop hidden somewhere no-one ever goes. Happily times have changed and now we have the possibility of listening to high quality music like this all the time. What’s more, Secret Chiefs 3 records have just been re-released on vinyl. For acoustic obsessives this is great news indeed, and what’s more, they’re not alone.

Well, they’re still not socialising with wider society much, but they have clambered together and put together festivals and tours around the world. In the UK the Mecca for these acts is the Supersonic festival in Birmingham which matches the anorak with the anarchic. Will we see Master Musicians there this year? It’s been rumoured that a November tour is under consideration… stay tuned.

Back to the record – Far West is a short masterwork. It’s an advanced step beyond what we saw on previous records… but feels more like a longish EP than the Pet Sounds that, we the fans, are after. With their proggish roots – how much longer until we have a vinyl double album with triple gatefold allowing our mystical cigarettes to roll unfettered?

With its Caravanesque eastern timbres and spicy rhythms, Far West is a great album that calls up the Secret Chiefs 3’s spacier work, with a deeper nod to Hawkwind and noise than the former’s acoustic technicality.  Listening through the tracks 1-3, we’re presented with a confusion of feelings as the raucous tones push the listener to delve through the noise into the meaning that comes to a peak anthem in ‘Cave of Light’ (which might be looped until judgement day).

There is a soaring denouement of harsh tonal static before the final track ‘Circular Ruins’ which, based on a Borges story, contains wheeling choral voices recounting the infinity mirror of dreams and their creation. Accented with guitars and percussive delights the album ends with a sort of ego-negating yoga stretch…readying you to face the world, destroy the system and open your third eye to your own moral renewal.

Or even another cold beer.

A picture of Master Musicians of Bukkake

Track Listing:

1) WHITE MOUNTAIN RETURN
2) γη-νομος / GNOMI
3) ARCHE
4) CAVE OF LIGHT: THE PRIMA MATERIA
5) YOU ARE A DREAM LIKE YOUR DREAMER: THE DARK PEACE
6) CIRCULAR RUINS

Far West was recorded and mixed by Randall Dunn

Produced by Randall Dunn and Master Musicians of Bukkake
Mastered at Chicago Mastering by Jason Ward

Photos by Alison Scarpulla

Cover illustration and layout by Simon Fowler
Art direction Randall Dunn
FAR WEST TRACK LISTING:
Far West is an Album, it isreviewed above in the review of Far West

Master Musicians of Bukkake is:
David Abramson: percussion, drums, tef, shaman shakers, green fog
B.R.A.D: percussion, vocals, candles, sights unseen
Don McGreevy: percussion, drums, 12 string electric and acoustic guitar, mellotron, bass, brass arrangements
Randall Dunn: korg analog synths, mellotron, divining rod, water seeking foolishness
Milky: electric and acoustic guitar, synths, vocals, mossy fuzz
Timm Mason: electric guitar, serge modular synth, electric bass, insects

Additional “Far West ” Congregation and guests:
Samantha Boshnak: trumpet, flugelhorn
Naomi Siegal: trombone
White Mountian Voices: Nils Petterson, Rabia Quazi, Richie Rico
Keith Lowe: contra bass
Craig Flory: baritone and tenor saxophone

Lyrics and music for “Circular Ruins” based on The Jorge Louis Borges story of the same title:

“Like snow from the ground
leaves from the trees
rain from the sky
dew from the grass
and thoughts from the mind
So to shall you disappear…”

-Zen poem , unknown author

Far West is out on June 10th via Important Records

Master Musicians of Bukkake

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