Walker Harris English
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., May 19, 2017
The instrumental lineup for this cross-continental, cassette-only collaboration guarantees esoteric delights: Austin drum deity Thor Harris on dulcimer and bass clarinet, Aussie Lawrence English on bass drum and "treatments," and ATX-to-UK transplant and label head Conor Walker on "field recordings." A lack of hooks, riffs, and conventional melodies in these long tracks doesn't mean they're not compelling, however. On "The House Part I," Walker and English create haunting tones not unlike guitar feedback, as Harris clangs away in the background. "Part II" focuses exclusively on the latter's dulcimer with an ethereal treatment that sounds like it's floating in from another dimension. "Beyond House" exploits tension between the comforting sounds of rainfall and a mournful moan from Harris' clarinet. Only "Beyond Home," ghostly ambient tones and little else, wears out its welcome prior to concluding its 10-minute run time. That's an anomaly in a project that proves you don't need guitar solos, walking basslines, and/or introspective lyrics for successful self-expression.