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A pinnacle of the Spiral Joy Quartet's outward venturing and the last report (for now) from the band's long tenure in Virginia: duo fiddle string-wrangling from Mike and Amy, expert harmonium action from Mikel and wildly inventive percussion, reeds, flute and strings from Nathan, all bending around, yet pointing toward, an inevitable, eternal melody before dissolving into the last track's midnight hiss of surf and gongs.
"Third VHF release for this Southwest Virginia ensemble that specializes in transportational sound sheets. Derived from the extended Pelt/Jack Rose/Black Twigs family, Spiral Joy traffics in lengthy microtonal explorations rooted in the expansive tradition of beards like Taj Mahal Travellers, Henry Flynt, Theatre of Eternal Music, etc. The four tracks here are an evolution from the trance-like gong and percussion sounds of recent Joy Band releases, with the quartet putting more of an emphasis on heavily bowed string sounds. Gangloff’s fiddle, which plays it relatively straight in the Black Twigs (and occasionally Pelt), cuts loose here with some of the gnarliest string scratching this side of Tony Conrad’s “Four Violins,” giving the music a searing, visceral edge. The final track finds the band literally standing in the Atlantic Ocean, with their gongs and Tibetan bowls shimmering out a gentle lullaby. “No overdubs, No amplification, No effects.” Very limited edition, in elegant heavy card wallet with illustrations by Emily Keown. Fiddles, gongs, bowls, harmonium, srutis, spiral cymbal, crash cymbal, crank whistle, flute, bells, banjosticks played and recorded march-july, 2008, by mikel dimmick, amy shea, nathan bowles, mike gangloff."