Album: Gary Lucas vs The Dark Poets, Beyond the Pale (Some Bizzare)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

His work with Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart probably makes Gary Lucas the world's most popular avant-rock guitarist, though his solo work can lack focus.

Here, his solo pieces mingle with tracks recorded with electronic composer James Hunter, aka The Dark Poets, whose samplescapes, synth beds and vocal samples about things like military mind-control techniques recall the dark portents of Cabaret Voltaire.

Highlights include a resonant cover of part of Popol Vuh's Aguirre, Wrath of God soundtrack; an exhilarating "Judgement at Midnight" incorporating swirling National steel guitar phrases over a synth drone bed pockmarked with found-sound fragments; "Breath of Bones", a delicate tangle of guitar tendrils; and "Ted's Theme", a lovely sequenced samba-shuffle burnished with glinting guitar.

Solo showcases include the glistening Frippertronic-style guitar tones of "Rosemary's Baby" and the almost electric-flamenco flurries of "Rise Up To Be".

Pick of the album: 'The Judgement at Midnight', 'Ted's Theme', 'Aguirre', 'Rosemary's Baby'