Thursday, June 13, 2013


Read full review of The Uses of Infinity - PAUL METZGER on ©

Read full review of 14 tracks contemplating the Raga - Various / 14 Tracks on ©

at Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY. 5/03/09

Photo: Paul Metzger

Anyone who makes an album of solo banjo recordings and then calls it Deliverance is just asking for trouble. Presumably Metzger's larking around with us a bit there, because in truth this is no porch-mounted rocking chair noodle-fest, but rather a measured, meditative study of Metzger's own self-modified 21-string banjo performances, which have more in common with the revamped ragas of John Fahey and his fellow Takoma luminaries than any traditional, countrified usage of the instrument.

Metzger takes his music far closer to the source than most open-tuned raga explorers, with some far-flung eastern harmonies that border on sitar drone and a furious picking technique that sounds quite unlike anything so humdrum as a banjo. By the time Metzger arrives at the final phase of his half-hour long title piece you'll find yourself thinking you're hearing some kind of advanced shamisen workout, characterised by a flurry of high speed, unsustained string plucks. It's impressive enough that Metzger should be a virtuoso of any instrument, but the very fact that he's mastered something he made himself as a one-off is even more remarkable, and consequently Deliverance is a pretty unique listening experience.