Charalambides Joy Shapes

Charalambides follow last years’ reissue of Unknown Spin with a new and equally wonderful recording. Where Unknown Spin presented the sound of stretching outwards, seldom gathering density, tracks on Joy Shapes build upwards, stacks of notes and repeated noises, with Christina Carter’s voice like a bier flickering at the very pinnacle. Her vocal improvisation has gained a strength and confidence which brings it to equal status with any of the other instruments. Heather Leigh Murray has even further disengaged her pedal steel sound from any traditional usage. Tones are stretched, sampled, bent and stretched again until no evidence of their origin remains. Tom Carter provides a still yet quavering point to anchor the five long pieces. He is masterful at playing with repetition that introduces slight alterations in note and tempo to keep the ear at work throughout. Joy Shapes builds upon work pioneered by artists as influential as Tony Conrad and Henry Flynt, but Charalambides have hewn a new shape which is wholly their own. (Kranky)