Dusted Reviews

Joshua Abrams - Busride Interview

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Joshua Abrams

Album: Busride Interview

Label: Lucky Kitchen

Review date: May. 1, 2002

Subdued, minimal, and with a counter-intuitive swing, Josh Abrams’ bass-playing blends seams across some of contemporary music’s most celebrated sound adventurers. He’s lent a groove or two to such indie-rock crooners as Sam Prekop, Will Oldham, and Papa ‘M’, and has been an unassuming yet vital fixture inside the Chicago improvised music scene, stoking the free-jazz flames alongside such luminaries as Fred Anderson, David Boykin, and Matana Roberts. Town and Country, one of his lower profile projects, has quietly been sewing their own harmonium, celeste, and bell funk into the lining of modern composition for four albums or so on Thrill Jockey, and too subtle to shout, theirs and Abrams’ goodness is perhaps catching the ear of too few.

Busride Interview, Abrams’ first solo release, is a homemade collage of delicate ambient electronics, musique concrete, and minimalist string melodies. (There is a whole lot of this kind of stuff out there, and most of it is either boring and uninspired, but now and then…like now…Wow.) The album sways between the nocturnal and the antique, the tonal and atonal, the rhythmic and eurhythmic, giving itself away in impressions and fragments. Beginning with a field recording, a bus ride interview recorded on a mini-disc, a voice saying at it’s end, “the police are coming”, Busride Interview then moves softly over various sonic textures. Song titles like “after fire”, “plums”, and “attic”, give you a good indication of what you are in for: plucking, whooshes, and scratches, and at times the result is (yes I’ll admit it) slightly fading. As the album progresses however, Abrams can’t help but deliver a groovy hit, and if you are patient, the sixth track, “everything can be good sometimes”, will remind you of why you came to listen. It begins with water rushing, a looped piano, the piano is doubled and then redoubled, some strings fall in, digital fragments, Abrams loops one of his soft upright bass-lines to keep it all together, and it is so nice. My only complaint with the recording would be that there aren’t more moments like this, but then again, what better reason to make more solo recordings?

By Daniel Dineen

Read More

View all articles by Daniel Dineen

Find out more about Lucky Kitchen

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.