Harps of Fuchsia Kalmia "The Angular Acceleration of Light in the Unsound Mind of My Uncle Dead in Michigan" CD-r
Harps of Fuchsia Kalmia is an artist among the handful of Italian weird-folk artists such as Selaxon Lutberg, Donato Epiro, Architeuthis Rex, Valerio Cosi, and We Wait for the Snow that are often associated with the Italian label, Centre of Wood. Each artist, however, ought not to be lost in the lumping together of their common association. Harps of Fuchsia Kalmia is no exception. This project, which is the brainchild of Salvatore Borrelli ( e t r e ), unquestionably stands out, making its own autonomous mark on the experimental folk scene. Harps comes full-blast with its own sound of avant-folk-forest tracks. It boasts a “new form of rural psychedelia.” And a new form it is indeed. I have never heard anything like this before. It is a cross between blue grass, drone, and noise (made with traditional instruments). I appreciate its purist approach, sans major electronics. You really get a taste of the rural countryside in a very improvisational, avant-garde way. It is easy to spot the instruments used in this one: guitar, banjo, lyre, harps, organ, ukulele, brass, cymbals, and many others. Any strings are either plucked or bowed. On top of all the instruments are hints of field recordings and vocals. The vocals almost sound like Ilyas Ahmed’s highs minus the intelligible word annunciations. Instead, any voice is used as an instrument itself. No focus on lyrical poetry, but rather the emphasis is placed on the sound of the vocal chords themselves. There’s only a track or two that might challenge this statement as lyrics seem to emerge. However, I still think that Borrelli cares more about the sound of his voice than the words. I’ll let him tell me otherwise. Definitely intriguing.
Now, to the actual sound of the CD itself… An intrusive discordant dance of spattered notes from instruments that have long since been tuned. Drones are birthed by long strokes of gliding bows. Almost sounds like a warm up session for some kind of early pagan folk songs. Although sometimes demanding upon the listener, I really dig this. Somehow all the cacophonous elements work together to create a unified whole that is very satisfying. Props to Borrelli for offering up such an enigmatically pleasurable release. Standard Reverb Worship card sleeve with minimal paste-on art and separate track list sheet. 8/10 -- Dave Miller (20 January, 2010)