Ezra Feinberg - Recumbent Speech Music Album Reviews

The guitarist and composer leads his adventurous backing band through immersive instrumentals, creating a tranquil atmosphere from classical minimalism, ambient synth, and nimble fusion.

Recumbent Speech invites you to a world so vivid and intricately textured that you might feel like you are part of it. “Acquainted With the Night,” named after a Robert Frost poem, opens with the sound of Ezra Feinberg’s fingerpicked acoustic guitar, recorded closely enough to hear his fingers brush the strings. The sense of solitude in tight quarters doesn’t last long: Soon, he is surrounded by synth, flute, piano, and fretless bass—a cosmic pastoral landscape, not far from the ones Popol Vuh played to soundtrack Werner Herzog movies in the ’70s. Feinberg’s hypnotic, wordless compositions grow this way, one instrument at a time, letting you settle in before he sweeps you away.
In the 2000s, Feinberg led the San Francisco band Citay. Across three records, the collective drew on styles that were largely unfashionable in indie music: soft rock, jam bands, new age. Ten years since the release of their last album, their earnest embrace of these genres feels ahead of its time. “I don’t feel a need to distance myself from anything I like,” he explained in 2006. “If anything, I want to bring myself (and my bandmates, as well as my friends and family) closer to everything I like.” The same way that artists like Jim O’Rourke or Oneohtrix Point Never return to a distinct set of influences through their myriad releases, Feinberg seemed to create a canon within his own work. You could count the references, but you’d lose track of the feeling: a radiant sense of positivity drawn from the most meditative corners of his record collection.

His second solo album since disbanding Citay and moving to Brooklyn, Recumbent Speech is his most distinct and embracing work. He still draws on many of those same influences, but his work is less tethered to his versatile guitar playing. He is an expert bandleader, guiding a group of like-minded musicians to bring each composition to life. At other times, he is more like a free-form DJ. These six songs are unified by their slow-building serenity and enveloping atmosphere, maintaining a singular mood while Feinberg jumps between genres and influences. Minimalist classical explorations sit beside campfire folk strumming; ambient synths give way to nimble fusion. No two songs sound quite alike, and each of them might feel like the centerpiece on any given listen.


To match his wide-spanning vision, Feinberg enlisted a compact but adventurous backing band. Among his accompanists are Tortoise drummer John McEntire, pedal steel player Chuck Johnson, synth composer Jonas Reinhardt, and vocalists April Haley and Mandy Green. These singers draw a clear line to Feinberg’s utopian work in Citay, their harmonies adding a sense of calm to the moody “Ovation.” But three minutes in, at the point where a Citay song might have burst into a guitar solo, the music drops completely, leaving just a bed of ambience and Feinberg’s amplifier feedback. When the band returns from the quiet, they sound slower and heavier, like they are carrying a great weight behind them.

The record shines through these emotional twists in Feinberg’s compositions and his accompanists’ performances. If Feinberg’s inspiration once came from bringing the styles he loved to as many people as possible, Recumbent Speech draws on the deeper connections from a lifetime of music discovery: the memories those songs conjure, the people we meet through our shared passion, the way an old favorite might sound different under new circumstances. For all his crate-digging tendencies, Feinberg returns again and again to a simple goal: to soothe our worries and guide us somewhere better.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ezra Feinberg - Recumbent Speech Music Album Reviews Ezra Feinberg - Recumbent Speech Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, July 23, 2020 Rating: 5

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