Red Krayola Fingerpointing

Red Krayola Fingerpointing
Like many Red Krayola albums, Fingerpointing is as confusing on paper as it is on record. To break it down, in 1999 the project’s avant-garde maestro Mayo Thompson released an album with several modern-day experimenters, one of whom was producer extraordinaire Jim O’Rourke. That record was called Fingerpainting, not pointing, and crossed several Red Krayola songs from the ’60s with electronic sounds, loops and drum machines. At the time, O’Rourke presented Thompson with a mix of that album, only to have the bandleader reject it. Fast-forward to 2008 and Thompson is feeling the O’Rourke version and releasing it as Fingerpointing, not painting. On record, it now comes with O’Rourke’s distinctive stamp all over it. Gone is any of the original’s clutter and left behind is the producer’s striking use of space, as he puts Thompson’s voice and guitar low in the mix and lets a sparse array of skittering beats and synths carry the album. The record is hardly easier to digest though, with instrumental freak-outs still butting up against more traditional songs throughout one continuous unskipable track. But for fans of O’Rourke or Red Krayola’s unconventional ways, Fingerpointing should easily satisfy. (Drag City)