Andrew Weathers Ensemble – What Happens When We Stop 7.9
Andrew Weathers Ensemble makes the experimental emotive. Throughout ‘What Happens When We Stop’ the experimental impulses compliment the natural charm of the sound. Guitars add to this folksy feeling. Classical instruments bring the two elements together serving as a bridge. Aspects of this are highly reminiscent of Gastr del Sol’s work. Like Gastr del Sol, Andrew Weathers Ensemble wants to make the accessible lovelier. To this end, the album succeeds beautifully. Combined with simple vocals the songs transcend and become something bigger than the sum of their parts.
‘House Carpenter (Tanaka)’ begins it with a sustained drone. Eventually through the song’s progression pieces of melody make their way through all the sound, rising to the top. One of the highlights ‘O/OU (Ensemble)’ takes the approach even further making the natural sounds feel more in control. For this song the elements appear to be more acoustic and less treated. By the time of the guitar the group feels closer to a rustic sensibility. ‘Mojave Layers’ veers closer towards a more classical approach. Tempos are slowed down. Silence is used as a form of tension. Considerably quieter than what proceeded it the sounds are given plenty of breathing room.
For the closer ‘Honest Woman Blues’ Andrew Weathers Ensemble appears to channel John Fahey’s vision of ‘American Primitive’. The sounds are wholesome. Even the treatments of the sound (there are electronic manipulations) feel appropriate. ‘What Happens When We Stop’ manages transcend the limitations of folk and experimental to create something thoroughly unique.