Out of all potential collaborations, the coupling of Robert Horton and Dax Pierson is one I wouldn?t have guessed in a million times. Robert Horton should be known to all Foxy Digitalis readers through his two albums with Tom Carter and a gazillion of solo releases on labels such as Jyrk, Foxglove and Barl Fire. Dax Pierson on the other hand plays in 13&God with The Notwist and in Subtle and is part of the Anticon collective that when it started already put a lot of indie flair and experimentalism in Hip Hop music, but has moved away from classic Rap music more and more towards other genres.
?Pablo Feldman Sun Riley? is just one further step for Pierson on his way to new grounds. According to Robert Horton?s words on the promo sheet, he and Pierson met at Amoeba Records in Berkley when Horton was trading some CDs that he burned, among them an Augustus Pablo and a Morton Felman CD. The two became friends, exchanged their musical ideas and recorded some sessions. Apparently, at one session ?the ghosts of Sun Ra and Terry Riley seemed to sit in with us?, as Horton puts it. Hence, the album was dedicated to the above mentioned musicians. As diverse as the influences may seem, the result of Horton?s and Pierson?s collaboration is a very homogenic affair.
Inspired by Augustus Pablo, the dominant instrument on ?Pablo Feldman Sun Riley? is the melodica, played by Dax Pierson. Around it, Horton spins some of his trademark dronescapes. For several tracks, Pierson invites his bandmate in Subtle, Alexander Kort, to play cello and the whole Subtle crew including Doseone of Themselves joins on the epic ?Spring Drive Along the Boundaries of Nothingness?. Pierson and Horton definitely take enough time to present the seven compositions included on the CD. There are breaks here and there and at no point the listener feels overwhelmed by too many instruments played at the same time. That sparse approach gives the tracks enough space to breathe and unfold and the listener the opportunity to feel into them real closely. My guess is that ?Pablo Feldman Sun Riley? will find its fanbase rather in the listenership of Robert Horton than in that of Dax Pierson and his various groups, but it seems like this album is a really important step in tearing down boundaries between different scenes and genres. 8/10 -- Stephan Bauer (9 January, 2007)