Thor & Friends
Thor & Friends (LM Dupli-Cation)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Oct. 21, 2016
An Austin music scene fixture for over two decades, iconoclast percussionist Thor Harris counts CV highlights spanning Shearwater to Swans. A half-dozen instrumental LPs already behind him, this self-titled debut from his new ensemble joins him with fellow mallet enthusiasts Sarah "Goat" Gautier and Peggy Ghorbani. Together, they brew a stew of marimbas, vibraphones, and xylophones augmented by violin, keyboards, and clarinet. The sonorous atmospheres of the bowed, blown, and fingered instruments overlay the busy burble of the struck idiophones, creating a dichotomy between lush comfort and unsettling industry. Moods range from dreamy to nervous, lullaby to waking dream, and if the aura never crosses over directly into nightmare, plenty of disturbing images are conjured. Recorded in New Mexico with members of Deerhoof and A Hawk & a Hacksaw, Thor & Friends pinches the hippocampus.