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Christian Science Minotaur, "Map 3 (of 9)"

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Punning does not inspire my confidence. Neither do vague album titles, literary references, or super limited releases.  This cassette suffers all four of those faux pas, but the music itself shows nothing but good taste. Considering my appetite for bubbly space music, I'll take it as a lesson not to judge by appearances.

 

Peasant Magick

Aside from what's put to tape, I know very little about Christian Science Minotaur. I do know one thing for certain: they have good taste in books. Proof is that they named all the songs after harpooners in Moby Dick. But as to why, I have no idea.  Only the jibbering synth-drums on “Daggoo” approach the fierce literary paganism its namesake implies. As the opening track, it starts off gently with celestial chimes and skittering delay. It grows gradually with increasing tempo, finally working itself into a frenzy of pounding toms and warped ululations. Nothing else on the tape matches the song for strength, but that’s because of the high mark it sets. 
 
Cut by the two sides of the cassette, "Tashtego” bridges the gap between the heavy war whoops of "Daggoo" and the more diffuse second half. Heavy bass swells add tension mid-song, but those are quickly submerged in the track's lunar soil. A sputtering clave beat keeps a quick tempo, but that too settles into the mire. True to his name, "Queequeg" is the odd one of the bunch, having no percussion in it at all. Instead, sweeps of tuned static billow and shake, slowly dissipating into a diamond mist.
 
Listening to this tape is a pleasure, but it's a lonely one. At 100 copies, Map 3 (of 9) seems a meager gift to the music world. The number is an improvement over previous releases of 30 or 50 copies, but I wish Christian Science Minotaur had more ambition for the public's ear. Cassettes and 3 inch CDRs are great for curios, but don't release your best music on them.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 10:09  


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