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The duo of Zachary James Watkins on guitar and electroncis and Marshall Trammell on drums in a dark album of distorted riffs and heavy polyrhythmic drumming, free playing that demands attention while entrancing the listener in gritty sound.

Black Spirituals
Black Tape [CASSETTE with download]

Black Spirituals: Black Tape [CASSETTE with download] (Astral Spirits)

Label: Astral Spirits    
Released in: USA    

"Black Spirituals have been on the Astral Spirts radar for quite some time, back to when they picked up a copy of their excellent 2014 LP Of Deconstruction on Sige Records. Since then they have released two tapes (on The Tapeworm & Ratskin/Sixty Hurts) not to mention garnering some critical acclaim from Ben Ratliff of the NY Times, as well as a European tour opening for Earth. But our patience has paid off and Black Spirituals has delivered Black Tape a powerful document of what they do best.

Black Spirituals is the duo of Zachary James Watkins (guitar, electronics) & Marshall Trammell (drums). They each have rather impressive and elaborate resumes that run the gamut from degrees in composition to social justice work and many things in between, including for both a love of improvisation.

There is nothing about Black Spirituals sound that immediately makes one think of improv or free jazz...yet the way these two meld their varied influences and their own idiosyncratic styles with each other is larger than pinning it to a specific type of improv.

To quote the title of their recent tape it is true "High Vibration Resonance"...or as Ben Ratliff puts it, "From beginning to end, you might have heard the influence of the polyrhythmic free-jazz drummer Milford Graves; the slow, distorted, guitar-riff repetitions in a band like Earth, with whom the duo recently toured; and improvising electronic musicians like Toshimaru Nakamura...That alone, the mixture of those different paradigms - even on paper - is fairly exciting"

Indeed it is...and Black Tape - even on cassette - is fairly exciting as well."-Monofonus Press

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Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Rock and Related
Improvised Rock
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings
New in Rock Forms
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Product Information:

Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS027
Squidco Product Code: 22169

Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Entrances was recorded and mixed in 2015 by Andrew Oswald at his own Secret Bathroom.

Exits was recorded and mixed on December 5th, 2015 at Expressions by The Norman Conquest.


Zachary James Watkins-guitar, electronics

Marshall Trammell -drums

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Track Listing:


1. Entrances 26:26


1. Exits 19:53