Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Tenants of Balthazar's Castle - A Capella

The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle
A Capella
(2007, American West Freedom Society Press)

The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle, AKA Michael Biggs, is Salt Lake City’s premiere avant-noise junky. As the purveyor of last years down right nuts release of Terror in Twelve Parts, Biggs ups the ante with an EP sized disc of preposterously high quality. True to its title, the whole of A Capella was created by loops of Biggs’ voice alone (including some seeming manipulation). Following in the tradition of similar vocal experiments by Lichens and Grouper, Biggs has built a haunting and wholly original piece of art that tattoo’s itself to your subconscious, twisting and turning like a dark, misty forest. Spanning three tracks titled numerically by order, A Capella stops at just over twenty minutes, leaving you drooling for more. In fact, you may as well burn A Capella repeatedly onto a new CDr (you can get it on there at least three times) to save you the time you are undoubtedly going to take going back to track one and pushing play. Biggs has turned The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle from a ridiculously named novelty to an essential player in Salt Lake’s avant underground, and is currently boasting a perfect report card for his expanding discography.

-Mr. Thistle

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