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The Dead Texan - The Dead Texan

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Artist: The Dead Texan

Album: The Dead Texan

Label: Kranky

Review date: Nov. 16, 2004

The Dead Texan is the first solo project of Adam Wiltzie, one half of symphonic minimalists Stars of the Lid, whose last opus The Tired Sounds of… took meditative stillness to beautifully uncharted horizons.

Many of the pieces on The Dead Texan actually started life as the embryonic foundations to new SOTL tracks, but Wiltzie eventually considered them too aggressive to be released under the Lid banner. However, Wiltzie’s definition of ‘aggressive’ would appear to differ sharply from that of most people. The Dead Texan’s music strays very little from the SOTL recipe, with any real changes limited to the sparse use of ghostly vocals, flickering on the radar like some lost voice from a barely distinguishable radio station, and the occasional guitar line that isn’t submerged beyond recognition in a pool of effects units. In these small respects, The Dead Texan moves a little closer to territories inhabited by the likes of Labradford and Windy & Carl, but not much.

The Dead Texan is primarily a continuation and extrapolation of Wiltzie’s previous work, all glacial tranquility and ethereal kisses frozen in both space and time. Mini-symphonies that recall the compositions of Gavin Bryars at his peak or the soundtrack work of Zbigniew Preisner.

Included in this CD-DVD package are a set of seven video segments created by Wiltzie in conjunction with filmmaker and video artist Christina Vantzos, which range from several animated sections and interplay between water and light, to video footage of people and buildings (such as Brussels' Atomium or the city's baroque centre) . Both visual and audio mediums play off one other, until they become inseparable parts of a whole, marking a truly collaborative venture between the architects for sound and sight.

For those that are in no rush to get anywhere fast, happy just to enjoy the here and now, The Dead Texan plays the perfect accompaniment.

By Spencer Grady

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