Evan Caminiti’s busy work with Barn Owl
didn’t preclude him from the solo route either, with his 2010 effort for Three Lobed Recordings being an attractively dark example of his approach to guitar (and not simply due to the album cover art). Little surprise too that West Winds starts off not only with the wonderfully titled “Night of the Archon” but that it sounds simultaneously sweetly beautiful and darkly menacing; if it’s not quite whistling past a graveyard, then the overlay of gentler guitar notes — not too far removed from the opening of Brian Eno
’s On Land at points — echoes aplenty, and queasy feedback moans and screeches might be a conceptual equivalent. It’s a good tone-setter for the rest of the album, which steers away from Barn Owl’s full-on black-walls-of-sound approach for a generally more soothing flow, with definite moments of unsettled haunting — the serene beauty that concludes “Thunder Breaks the Dawn” and informs “Path to the Sea” is a marvel to listen to. “Glowing Sky” might be the perfect summary of the combined impulses at work, the sense of huge flowing feedback and heart-catching melancholic beauty definitely indebted to My Bloody Valentine
, among others, massive and moving at once. It’s not all guitar throughout, though by default it does dominate, though piano provides the counterpoint to the sudden metallic flourishes on “Westward Sun.” “Dust” most clearly brings out a sense of a forlorn American Western landscape reduced to desolation, reverb heavily applied to the stark guitar notes to bring out pure atmosphere, but the concluding “Black Desert Blooming” puts the seal on it all, a classic example of Caminiti’s ear for overwhelming, entrancing feedback darkness as well as tone-float serenity.
- Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
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