Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Bass

I'm on an instrumental music kick lately, mostly the fault of Brokeback. Doug McCombs, of Tortoise and Eleventh Dream Day, has or had a solo project called Brokeback, whereby he created these gorgeous songs centering around electric or acoustic bass or both. Really nice stuff, and I wish he were still recording under this moniker, but I do not believe he is.

That led me back to Austin and Cyrus Rego, the former side project of Edward Robert, former bass player for the no-longer Paul Newman. Robert put out one release under this name on Emperor Jones Records, back in 1999, and I forgot about it until recently. Now it's digitized and in the system and sure to get loads of play time around here.

They're both accomplished pieces of music, and very different. Where Brokeback plays more to clear lines of melody, repeated and embellished and approaching minimalist jazz in places, Cyrus Rego deals in landscapes of sound and effect, complementing drone with misty pieces of song and lyric.

But they're both built around the sound of the bass guitar, and that alone makes them worth listening to.

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