Alan Sondheim and Myk Freedman Julu Twine

Many aspire to create psychedelic music but seldom does it hit the mark. When it does it's often by accident. Julu Twine's warped magic balances the deliberate and the serendipitous. Similar to lap steeler Freedman's erstwhile labelmates on Toronto's Rat-Drifting label, he and Sondheim (who plays various antique guitars and other plucked instruments) blend bleary-eyed folksiness and woozy melodicism with a strange, meandering approach to improvisatory extemporization. Sondheim's restless yet understated virtuosity is tempered by his penchant for allowing his phrases to stumble drunkenly into abstraction. Freedman often provides deliciously sung lines that float above Sondheim's gnarled fingerpicking but also colours in the background with microtonal clouds, Theremin-like swells and even his contrapuntal lines, which dovetail with those of Sondheim. One moment the pair seem to be leaning toward a soaring melodic line, until suddenly the listener realizes that this is a mere mirage and they're thrust into melted rural landscapes. This oscillation between the familiar and the alien is what imbues this disc with its uniquely uneasy brand of psychedelia. Sondheim and Freedman wed the weird and the folky in ways you'd never hear from the tired cult of New Weird America. (Porter)