CD Lists (CD 1225151), Audio Other
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  • 1. Lluvia
    2. Orchid
    3. These Complimentaryt
    4. Carbon Monoxide
    5. Living Mausoleum
    6. Swim Around, The
    7. Rewinding Sunday
    8. Fern Room
    9. City Life
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5

  • Credits
    EngineerBrian Bullard; Matthew Gagnon

    Colorlist: Charles Gorczynski, Charles Rumback.
    Personnel: Charles Rumback (guitar, marimba, drums, bells); Bill MacKay (guitar); Joshua Eustis (erhu); Ellen O'Hayer (cello); Charles Gorczynski (saxophone, harmonium, synthesizer, electronics); Jason Ajemian (acoustic bass); Kassandra Kocoshis (crotales); Matthew Lux (Theremin).
    Recording information: 2006.
    Saying that a jazz-influenced group from Chicago has a new record out is, in some corners, an equivalent to suggesting that the sky is notably blue at present or that the Pope is once again Catholic. Some corners, however, can be a bit knee jerk -- and that includes the one inhabited by many reviewers, admittedly. Colorlist's debut album, though in many ways audibly the product of a sonic history involving groups like Tortoise and the Sea and Cake and its many affiliates (not a total surprise that there's a guest from Isotope 217 on here), makes for one of the finer efforts in that vein in a long while, thanks to the core band's ear for beautiful, structured arrangements and moody atmospherics. Much of the album essentially explores the point of intersection between these two potential extremes, with a core beat or rhythmic undertow -- or, alternately, a core loop or repeating figure -- set aside gentle but still exploratory soloing, made all the more intriguing because no one instrument takes the same role song for song. Saxophones may play a steady, descending figure on one song and a completely free part on the next; similarly with bass, vibes, or much else besides. The circular, descending loop of saxophones that begins the album with "Lluvia," eventually settling into an open-ended combination of drones and deep chimes, bears almost no resemblance to the scratchy feedback burst and moody funk crawl of the concluding "City Life," but both are excellent bookends. The air of careful, beautiful delicacy that informs the entire album has some astonishing high points -- "These Complimentary," with its swirls of shimmering electric guitar feedback and plucked strings, suggests the enveloping embrace of shoegaze while sounding nothing like it, a beautiful parallel development. Other moments are more admirable than memorable, like the violin-led start of "Carbon Monoxide," but when the deep, rolling beats kick in, the song hits another level entirely. ~ Ned Raggett

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