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Califone|Echo Mine

Echo Mine

Califone

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Chicago-based experimentalists Califone take a lot more time off between albums than they once did, but maybe someone just needs to ask them politely to write new songs. Not much was heard from Tim Rutili and his collaborators after 2013's Stitches, but when choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams was blocking out plans for a new dance piece, she invited Rutili to compose original music, and 2020's Echo Mine is drawn from the material he wrote for it. This isn't Califone at their very best, but it certainly shows they still have great ideas and can make them work, no matter how long they've been on the sidelines. Given that this was written with dancers in mind, it should come as no surprise that several of the tracks on Echo Mine are dominated by percussion, such as "Howard St & the Beach Now After 11" with its mingled organic rhythms and electronic overlays, and "By the Time the Starlight Reaches Our Eyes," which uses deep drum patterns to anchor a steady flow of guitars, synthesizers, and strings. The opening song, "Romans," and "Snow Angel V1" remind us Rutili is still capable of writing a straightforward song with the folkie elements that were the hallmark of his early work, but less-linear instrumental compositions make up the bulk of Echo Mine, and the languid but compelling flow of "Night Gallery/Projector," the ghostly fragments of "Flawed Gtr," and "Carlton Says: Find It. It's Still There," with its ambient, atonal electronics and found vocal passages, explore sounds and space with the daring and vision that were always Califone's strong suits. And the extended reprise of "Snow Angel" brings the curtain down in rousing form. The wealth of ideas and the solid execution on Echo Mine suggest folks should be encouraging Califone to write new stuff more often, as the results are well worth hearing.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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Echo Mine

Califone

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1
Romans
00:04:30

Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

2
Bandicoot
00:02:55

Brian Deck, Composer - Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Ben Massarella, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

3
Night Gallery / Projector
00:06:01

Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

4
Howard St & the Beach Nov 1988 After 11
00:03:36

Brian Deck, Composer - Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Ben Massarella, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

5
Flawed Gtr
00:01:39

Brian Deck, Composer - Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Ben Massarella, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

6
Echo Mine
00:06:43

Brian Deck, Composer - Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Ben Massarella, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

7
Carlton says: Find it. It's still there
00:02:47

Brian Deck, Composer - Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Ben Massarella, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

8
Snow Angel V1
00:04:14

Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

9
By the time the starlight reaches our eyes
00:08:05

Brian Deck, Composer - Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Ben Massarella, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

10
Snow Angel V2
00:03:48

Califone, MainArtist - Tim Rutili, Composer - Pastry Sharp Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2019 Jealous Butcher Records 2019 Pastry Sharp Music (BMI)

Album Description

Chicago-based experimentalists Califone take a lot more time off between albums than they once did, but maybe someone just needs to ask them politely to write new songs. Not much was heard from Tim Rutili and his collaborators after 2013's Stitches, but when choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams was blocking out plans for a new dance piece, she invited Rutili to compose original music, and 2020's Echo Mine is drawn from the material he wrote for it. This isn't Califone at their very best, but it certainly shows they still have great ideas and can make them work, no matter how long they've been on the sidelines. Given that this was written with dancers in mind, it should come as no surprise that several of the tracks on Echo Mine are dominated by percussion, such as "Howard St & the Beach Now After 11" with its mingled organic rhythms and electronic overlays, and "By the Time the Starlight Reaches Our Eyes," which uses deep drum patterns to anchor a steady flow of guitars, synthesizers, and strings. The opening song, "Romans," and "Snow Angel V1" remind us Rutili is still capable of writing a straightforward song with the folkie elements that were the hallmark of his early work, but less-linear instrumental compositions make up the bulk of Echo Mine, and the languid but compelling flow of "Night Gallery/Projector," the ghostly fragments of "Flawed Gtr," and "Carlton Says: Find It. It's Still There," with its ambient, atonal electronics and found vocal passages, explore sounds and space with the daring and vision that were always Califone's strong suits. And the extended reprise of "Snow Angel" brings the curtain down in rousing form. The wealth of ideas and the solid execution on Echo Mine suggest folks should be encouraging Califone to write new stuff more often, as the results are well worth hearing.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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