Nick Butcher Bee Removal

Nick ButcherBee Removal
To strip communication down to its bare essence - colour, a few words, a familiar sound - requires faith in leaps and a reserve of guts. Nick Butcher, a Chicago-based musician, painter and print-maker, has both. On his second release for Hometapes (the last one, The Complicate Bicycle, was a hand-screened book with an eight-track CD), sounds of radio static, coins tumbling into bowls and snippets of guitar aren't so much played as turned on and off, up and down. The seven-track limited twelve-inch comes in another hand-screened sleeve, this time by artist Chris Kerr, which complements the handmade feel of the pieces. Starting with brief, noisy fanfare ("Tearing Paper") and an ultra-minimal piece for guitar and static ("Ryman"), the album settles into a groove that's best expressed in the title track's off-beat framework of electric snap and low-res keyboards set to butcher block percussion. Melody peeks out of sudden ruptures and from behind other bigger noises, but just enough to let the listener know that, yes, you are safe, this is music, after all. (Hometapes)