Tom Carter & Pat Murano - Four Infernal Rivers [2LP]

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''Tom Carter and Pat Murano, two figures with decades of history behind
them, offer Four Infernal Rivers, their new double long player. Four Infernal Rivers
illuminates their interlocking styles in a light that blurs their individual identities. The
music breathes its own life, and consistently eschews the normal meanings of its
own potential descriptors. To think and act intuitively across 80 minutes in real
time, without falling into boring or wasteful modes, should be taken as a
remarkable accomplishment. The album title is as descriptive as it is suggestive.
'Four' is the number of tracks. Easy. 'Infernal.' It's a harder one to parse out,
harder still to live up to, yet the record's hellish qualities come from the fact that it
seems like it could never end. Its fiendishness stems from a tone which is
consistently ominous and ever-portending. 'Rivers' is spot-on. Close your eyes,
draw up an image of a river, and the music pulls instantly into focus. It's not so
much a soundtrack to a film or a scene, but rather an auditory evocation of
something that is ever-present. To invoke water is to invoke the most crucial
ingredient of life (insofar as we describe it) on this planet. A river is one and many
things, an aspect of a system larger than itself, full of majesty and terror. One need
only think of the rivers of Herzog's Aguirre or Fitzcarraldo, of Conrad's Heart of
Darkness or Ballard's The Day of Creation, to understand the gist of what is
being presented. The rivers forged by the duo are menacing and imposing, full of
risk and danger. In an age when the entire aim of underground artists seems so
geared towards either mimicking or revolting directly against the tides of
mainstream culture, it is nigh-impossible to know where to turn. If this record has
anything to say about it, it might be that the most valid instances of possibility are
to be found in adhering to no preconceived method, in swimming with a current of
one's own making. It sways between an understanding of musical history and a
disregard for its confines. There is interplay that doesn't apologize for or attempt
to live up to anything. It is music born of elements that have always existed and
still cannot be grasped. Both spacious and immediate, moments exist either to be
seized or to be let go. What might in another setting play out as a tension
between dissonance and melody here lives entirely outside of those concerns.
There is comfort and compatibility in this music, a sense that neither player would
ever step on the other's toes, while still feeling the freedom to explore whichever
tributary they might come across. Ideal traveling companions, then. 'It's after the
end of the world, don't you know that yet?' June Tyson asked long ago. Some of
us do and some of us don't. Those of us who aren't quite sure make records like
this.'' --Matt Krefting, Easthampton, MA, April, 2014
TRACKLISTING
01. Phlegethon
02. Cocytus
03. Styx
04. Acheron