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Tom Carter / Robert Horton - Lunar Eclipse

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Artist: Tom Carter / Robert Horton

Album: Lunar Eclipse

Label: Important

Review date: Dec. 11, 2005

Tom Carter is a sensitive player, no matter what instrument he lays his hands land on, but I’ve always found the Charalambide most thrilling when bursting the skies with his electrified guitar/e-bow interface. Like his peers Matthew Bower and Marcia Bassett (the latter of which Carter collaborates with in Zaika), Carter’s sound suggests a pure gush of white light beamed directly into your eyes, scorching your retinas and burrowing into the deep recesses of the skull. On Lunar Eclipse, Carter mostly leaps between e-bow and lap steel; his playing forms a stream of luminosity within which his collaborator Robert Horton bustles and woodsheds almost 20 instruments into mandalas and fractals of insect chatter.

Most of Lunar Eclipse is dense, thriving and teeming with life, packed with heavy vibrations. Though Carter’s playing can reach a scorching heat, the distinctly muggy and murky feel of these recordings comes from Horton nearly crowding the scene with his arsenal of instrumentation: however, he is able to fill the spaces while allowing each separate event to unfold, never packing so much into the pieces that they boil over and become indistinguishable. When Lunar Eclipse does lapse back into quieter terrain, as on “Equinoxium,” the scuff and scrabble of Horton’s homemades and preparations are gently scoured by some of Carter’s most elliptical e-bow and lap steel work.

Lunar Eclipse is strongest when Carter and Horton blow great humming lungs of drone out of their billowing chests, each breath spewing forth a galaxy-in-miniature of incident and event. Locked into flight, these eight pieces burn with electricity and energy.

By Jon Dale

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