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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - The Garden of Forked Paths [Spekk - 2007]

The Garden of forked paths is san-Francisco sound and drone artists’ first full length solo album, though he has released stuff with post-rock/psychedelic project Tarentel and the mainman behind the excellent Root Strata label. 

The drone works on offer are  much like the albums art work of blurred dark forest  scapes. we’re presented with 12 smudged, murky and slightly out of focus gloomy drone based tracks created with an assortment of tape recording mediums (Cassette, Micro-Cassette, Reel to Reel tape machine) and a small arsenal of guitar stop boxes used on wide variety of instruments from electric guitar to bowed gong.

The tracks drift from one grimy time-worn, dusk shadowed soundworld to  another, which  tell of  half-lit world of sinister wooden areas, abandoned cars windscreen smeared with blood like substances, distant figures merging into the painful sun set darking skies. As well as the dominate  guitar drones, he adds in all manner of forest like crackle, hungry chick calls, low down sighs/ stirrings and other sonic traces that your unsure of their origin, which really trigger ones imagination.  With the more recognizable strummed and conventional  played guitar tracks  book ending both ends of the album, almost as if they lead you into the albums strange half-lit world and back out once more at the end.

An effective and atmospheric debut, package like all of Spekk releasers in a distinctive oversized  cd folder/case.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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