Music Review | posted 28.01.2014
Al Cisneros
Toward Nazareth
Drag City, 2014
Text Sebastian Hinz , Translation Julia Frohn
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Cover Al Cisneros - Toward Nazareth

Trying to figure out Al Cisneros isn’t easy. As the bassist of Om, Sleep, Shrinebuilder or Asbestosdeath, he has contributed to basically any variation of metal. And then, lately, he has released a few odes of dub as a solo-artist, filled with Christian vocabulary. »Here are some more songs I wrote (through the blessings and grace of God). Thank you for listening.« His new EP »Toward Nazareth« is the second release for the renowned label Drag City, on which he presents himself as an enthusiast of long takes. Each of the five tracks basically shows us a picture, frozen by the eye of the camera, which merely watches without moving. At the beginning of each track, the artist fades in, at the end, he fades out again – in between the fadings, there’s enough time for an eternity to pass. It’s basically like being in an all-night-Andy-Warhol-movie – you peak into the cinema, watch and listen for 5 minutes, and then you go to the foyer to drink a beer. Another one of Cisneros’ ideas is to have two identical tracks with different names on the same record. On the previous 12", it was »Ark Procession» and »Jericho«. This time you’ll find »Indica Field« and »Harvester« to be pretty much the same. (Just like »Yerushaláyim« and »Version«, only that there is a more noticeable marker in this case). Of course, there might be differences between the tracks, but if that’s the case, they’re so very subtle (maybe an echo here or there) that they’re impossible to track down. And still, the doubling does something to the listener – it causes confusion and forces you to listen carefully. However, it also means that there are only 3 tracks to be heard in 20 minutes. And all the tracks remind me quite a lot of Out Of Worship, the collaboration between bassist/guitarist Joe Goldring and drummer Doug Scharin; not the worst reference, to be quite honest. All in all, there is something mysterious about this record: Cisneros’ effortlessness and his cool attitude on the one hand and the implied significance and his overall precision on the other hand cancel each other out. Trying to figure out Al Cisneros isn’t easy.

You’ll soon find the EP »Toward Nazareth« by Al Cisneros at hhv.de.
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