(To soothe the incredibly strange journey?)
I began my exploration of Andasol via a Twin Peaks marathon and a nasty cold but three weeks later (cough syrup and owl references aside) the album itself seems an attempt to document the story of a mythology, prominent and haunting, which (on some level) should avoid any comparison to Badalamenti save for perhaps, “Heron Lake.”
There have been discussions and debates about the origins of the tunes, a cryptic reference in the liner notes led me on a month long search for a (to be determined) Southwestern mystic, but then, I watched the documentary Jay contributed music to, Marwencol…and things became clear.
Cresendo’s, uplift’s, bends, curves, a solo woman’s voice (echoed a bit, humming, a lullaby-it is a song by the end you will know), Andasol is not solely about the music. (And it is beautiful.) And Andasol is not solely about the album. (And it is beautiful.)
What strikes me is the about the attempt communication from a far, distant, place.
The desire for separation.
A break from the world.
The soundtrack for a television change.
It’s no surprise Clarke’s work wouldn’t be out of place in a an episode of Mad Men, or the credits of American Beauty. Clarke has scored for a variety of film and theater productions, but as a member of Holy Sons and Grails, it’s also no surprise that it wouldn’t be out of place in the flat, expanse of the desert, Moondog there, howling and reading poetry over the reverb, echo, strange surfaces and layers of Clarke’s making.
Because it is a work that speaks to the unspoken (as is much of the work Clarke participates in-see press release for Marwencol discussing “the surprise”) it is easy to categorize this album as an offshoot of the film. It’s also easy to suggest it wouldn’t be as strong or enjoyable without Marwencol. To those I suggest, listen again. I will not deny that this is a first album but it’s honesty is prevalent and while it’s technique and asymmetrical style might be overwhelming for some, the momentum is unstoppable.