It All Has to Do with It

It All Has to Do with It

by Town and Country
     
 

In the mid-1990s, indie pundits identified a strain of "post-rockism" on the scene's experimental edges: bands who took aspects of rock and metamorphosed them in surprising ways. Listening to Town and Country, a four-piece instrumental group who perform on string basses, celesta, accordion, harmonium, and the African mbira --See more details below

Overview

In the mid-1990s, indie pundits identified a strain of "post-rockism" on the scene's experimental edges: bands who took aspects of rock and metamorphosed them in surprising ways. Listening to Town and Country, a four-piece instrumental group who perform on string basses, celesta, accordion, harmonium, and the African mbira -- in addition to the more conventional guitar, piano, and vibes -- you probably wouldn't think to call them post-rockers, simply because rock is so far removed as to be almost imperceptible. Led by Josh Abrams (who has worked with Sam Prekop, Tortoise, and the Spinanes, among others), the quartet takes its cues as much from classical experimentalism as from pop. The spare minimalist style of Morton Feldman is an obvious (and acknowledged) influence. Musical lines quietly interlock, circle, and slowly evolve; four tracks fill this 40-minute album. Among the band's indie peers, Rachel's may be the closest in style, but Town and Country transcend that group's pretty chamber music, offering something more intriguing. Crucially, they embrace dissonance and understand the expressive power of harmonies that rub together awkwardly; also, by combining instruments that just don't belong together (for example, string bass and celesta, at the disc's opening) they enter new sonic territory. This is a peaceful record, but it makes its impact precisely by not being too peaceful.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Peter J. D'Angelo
The third release from Chicago's Town & Country continues the band's tradition of acoustic experiments with subtle textures and quiet sounds. At times having a similar feel to the more acoustic guitar-tinged work of Joan of Arc, It All Has to Do With It never jumps out at the listener. Instead, the music creeps around, and hard-to-find rhythms provided by two standup basses continuously swell and relax with the interplay of piano, guitar, bells, and even accordion. Town & Country has no real rhythm section, a factor that contributes a strangely freeform aspect to all of the compositions. Nonetheless, the four tracks on this record somehow manage to fill up 40 minutes of disc space, a concept that is difficult to understand or to consider tolerating upon first hearing the album's unapologetically laid-back tones. Listening to this record at excessive volume or through headphones, however, should change the way everything sounds. With close inspection, it becomes evident that beneath the relatively constant feel of the album is a swirling and oft-changing backdrop. The 15-minute closer, "That Old Feeling," slithers around slowly while a consistent drone reaches out from below, leaving the listener questioning whether or not to believe that Town & Country doesn't use electronic loops for any of the band's creations. Superbly crafted and beautifully recorded, It All Has to Do With It is an expansive sonic experiment that is as relaxing as it is enjoyable.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2000
Label:
Thrill Jockey
UPC:
0790377008821
catalogNumber:
88
Rank:
236413

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Town and Country   Primary Artist
Jim Dorling   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Accordion,Celeste,Harmonium,Bells,Snare Drums,Vibes,Mbira,String Bass
Liz Payne   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Accordion,Celeste,Harmonium,Bells,Snare Drums,Vibes,Mbira,String Bass
Ben Vida   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Accordion,Celeste,Harmonium,Bells,Snare Drums,Vibes,Mbira,String Bass
Joshua Abrams   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Accordion,Celeste,Harmonium,Bells,Snare Drums,Vibes,Mbira,String Bass

Technical Credits

Casey Rice   Engineer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >