Brethren of the Free Spirit The Wolf Also Shall Dwell With The Lamb

The duo of James Blackshaw and Jozef Van Wissem craft beautifully tidy mid-length acoustic pieces that draw together elements of folk, baroque, Steve Reich-ian minimalism and ambient music. The through-line between these styles is a certain pastoralism, partially due to the instrumentation: 13-course lute and 12-string guitar, each offering their own set of glowing resonances. While the ensemble is certainly pared-down, and the two instrumentalists seem to eschew multi-tracking, there is nonetheless lots of textural variety. The spacious chiming of the opening cut strongly evokes the beginning of Brian Eno's "Music For Airports," while the following track marries the optimistic, sweet tonalities of guitarists such as Robbie Basho with the interlocking patterns of '70s classical minimalism. The third piece is much more firmly rooted in a Baroque contrapuntal sensibility, with finger style filigrees provided by Blackshaw. The stately closing piece sees Van Wissem employing a bottleneck slide on his lute for some intriguing timbres. This is done against another quasi-Baroque backdrop, which somehow suggests a more poised Six Organs of Admittance. (Important)