14. Konstantaj Objektoj | P.G. Six: Parlor Tricks and Porch Favourites (2001)

Whilst it’s easy to be overawed by much labelled as folk rock from the late 60’s and early 70’s, the idea of modern folk has always felt a bit mannered. Patrick Gubler’s post Tower Recordings solo phase birthed several albums over a decade but the first from 2001 – Parlor Tricks and Porch Favourites in particular, has a weird sense of authenticity.

In amongst the songs is a sense of instrumental textures wafting through the whole thing. Music that feels as natural as it is unhurried. Buried in the gaps between actual song, are pools of unadorned instruments like guitar, wurlitzer piano, farfisa organ, prophet synthesizer, kemance, ukelin, shakuhachi, d’tzu, acoustic guitars and harps. Often the pure joy of listening to the odd sonic worlds these instruments play is literally all that’s required.

This rarefied ambience also means that when the songs do gather, the effect is wonderful. After the atmospheric Introduction, When I Was A Young Man weaves a blanket of flutes outlined grooves. The divine bridges John Fahey into tiny strips of backwards tape…

Quiet Fan For SK delights in thick near stasis of Sandy Bull before a foggy shanty rolls passed. Go Your Way, originally by Anne Briggs slowly rises into a fully realised passage of reflections and watery harp ripples. The flutes and tabla then interlock, before opening out into another long textural trail…

39 minutes, and nine tracks that feel like a hundred episodic moments of dappled beauty. Whilst Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites has some tiny electronic and electric moments, it’s largely acoustic and somehow all the more magical. Honesty seems to drip off much presented here and whilst it’s decades behind much of what it frames, it’s truly a wonderful 21st century reimagining of what folk music can be.

Pick up Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites here

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