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Charles Atlas


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Charles Atlas is an instrumental duo (often expanding into a trio or quartet) who utilize effected guitar, piano, synthesizer, melodica, trumpet, drum loops, samples, and other instrumentation to paint expansive musical pastures on the crowded walls of the urban centers they and their audiences call home. In this sense Charles Atlas is akin to a large, green city park, the difference being that whereas the land for, say, Central Park was set aside long ago, Charles Atlas must forge the aural and (via synaesthesia if not musical anesthesia) visual space it seeks to fill. The two-dimensional surface upon which CA paints its murals, the tympanic membrane of the human ear, is in fact quite small; whats more, as a membrane, it has no depth. Without this third dimension, how can the musician hope to create full-bodied works? Only when the fourth dimension of time is borrowed does the picture come into relief; both depth and extension are now possible. Charles Atlas makes ample use of this dimension, with shuffle-slow pacing and lengthy looped pieces whose repeating musical phrases establish the gridlines of the new space while intersecting improvised figures move through it, encounter each other, negotiate, linger, engage, separate, or expire.


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