Mountains – Choral (Thrill Jockey) 2LP
During the course of a previous post on this here blog, Mountains may have been given something of a raw deal. The implication was that the Brooklyn duo is equivalent to but not as good as the Swedish group Tape. Time to address and – if possible – redress this terrible injustice.
Tape and Mountains are among the most interesting contemporary musical artists working at the intersection between digital electronics and acoustic instrumentation. But whereas Tape’s sound is delicate and somewhat pointillist, Mountains albums are full of rushing, gushing field recordings and tumbling cascades of finger-picked acoustic guitar. Not so much a wall or ocean of sound then, more of a river.
Released on the Thrill Jockey label, this year’s Choral is easily the duo’s most high-profile release. It doesn’t quite have the depth or breadth of the bands high-water mark, Sewn but it’s as good a place as any for newcomers to start the trip downriver.
The whole album flows beautifully (is this metaphor getting tenuous enough for you yet?) so it’s hard to pick a favourite track. “Map Table” is the one most commonly posted on MP3 blogs but the title track is even better, if anything.
Really, you need the full boat trip: buy Choral from Thrill Jockey.