Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Daniel Hipolito-Eva Kelly-Bill Shute-Fascination; Kendra Steiner Editions #238, 2012

Bill Shute is pretty clearly one of the good guys. Along with raising a family, working a job, and being very approachable (friend him on Facebook and ask him about Austin, TX's experimental music scene!), he's been putting out limited edition CD-rs by fascinating bands/musicians for some time now. His method is DIY in the best sense: limited runs, published within his means, the love for the art showing in his attention to detail. Kendra Steiner Editions are the kind of releases that Disaster Amnesiac really does love the most. Art for Art's sake, produced by people who genuinely care about the product, and their real involvement with it.
It seems important to remember that Kendra Steiner Editions, in addition to being a wellspring for groovy sounds for many other artists, is also one of Bill's primary outlets for his own work, in the field of poetry. Within a recent package from San Antonio's best label to me, Bill included a copy of Fascination (KSE #238).
Recorded in 2012 at Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, TX, Fascination features Bill's recitation of what I assume is the poem of the same name. In his sonorous baritone, Shute gives his lament of the "new normal", all the while describing obscure corners of the world in which that is happening. Loners on trains, the track, Wal-Mart type scenes, weird neighbors are all mentioned. One fascinating aspect of the disc is the slow pace in which he reads the poem; he stretches it out over time. It strikes Disaster Amnesiac that, seeing as Shute is a poet, and words do matter to him as such, his pacing is very deliberate. I am sure that he wants their intended effect to sink in to the listeners' consciousness. The subject of the poem is admonished to become more water-like, and the final resignation seems to point to that willful action.
Behind Shute, Daniel Hipolito and Eva Kelly make deep sea sounds with their tapes, electronics, and guitar. Their soundtrack to the poem is never intrusive, instead it is an aural backdrop, as Shute's words rise, fall, appear, and disappear within its envelope. Matching the feel of Bill's spoken recitation, their sounds are quietly intense.
Clocking in at a brisk 21 minutes or so, Fascination is worth the time spent, for poetry or music or noise fans. Send some support Bill's way! He's earned it, and, more importantly, his work merits it.

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