on and on and on
The last time I saw Steven Hess was at a crumbling barn about 60 miles west of Madison, WI, deep in the dairy fields. At the time we were looking for beer amidst a rainy drizzle that never washed us out at the Pasture Music Fest & Jubilee. Maybe he found some cans, I didn't. I'd first heard and met Steve when he came through town with the acoustic guitar troupe Bosco & Jorge, whom he is a sometime I percussionist, I believe. And kept an eye on his extended ventures with Greg Davis and Pan American. Few weeks back Steve's new project with guitarist Sylvain Chauveau, called On, landed in my box and its shaking the plants and lulling the cats to sleep ever day since. Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night (DSA) is the empty howling boom that surely whips around the Grand Canyon's base, yet never reaches you. The guitars, piano and percussion the two douse upon seem to be looming in the distance, out of reach for weeks, and are nary recognizable. Each is reduced to an ebbing, translucent roar which then expands for miles or at least across the top floor of my apartment and down to the corner pizza joint. A fingerful of piano keys tingle at the opening of "Oh Run Slowly" gives way to middle-earth hum before it travels the path of a jet's ascent to 20,000. It nearly segues into the next which is a benthic dive to briny underpinnings that nearly darken the sky or mirror moments before the viewing glass cracks. Supersilent/Deathprod's Helge Sten mixed the tapes of Hess and Chauveau's 2003 session. No matter the original intent of their session, Sten's dark hued wash is the best attempt yet at duplicating apparition field recordings.
On - Too Many Demons Still Haunt This Land