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back in stock as of
january 30th, 2012
first in stock on
november 20th, 2007
|drag city (usa) #dc 349 cd|
sir richard bishop “polytheistic fragments” compact disc
- cross my palm with silver (4:02)
- hecate's dream (3:21)
- elysium number five (2:02)
- rub' al khali (4:05)
- free masonic guitar (4:58)
- cemetery games (1:53)
- quiescent return (2:48)
- saraswati (10:48)
- tennessee porch swing (1:57)
- canned goods & firearms (5:15)
- ecstasies in the open air (4:13)
|september 2007 release; the second album this year alone from sun city girls’ sir richard bishop ...|
|drag city press release...|
|sir richard bishop|
is sir richard bishop just another virtuoso or something more powerful, like a magus or sorcerer? it’s hard to tell through the mystic fields that his playing always conjures — but we can hear enough in our somnolence to tell that he is a lord of guitar among the many greats, and that his first drag city release, polytheistic fragments, gathers the glittering slivers of his sound into a divine procession.
it goes without saying that polytheistic fragments is an instrumental release — who among us would want it otherwise? in the tradition of his classic debut, salvador kali, this new record features equal amounts of improvisation and composition. sir richard’s powers lie in his ability to captivate with just the sound of his guitar, but he doesn’t completely abandon studio processes, which allow polytheistic fragments to communicate a greater wholeness: all sir rick, all the time, if you will.
as a member of sun city girls and co-founder of the sublime frequencies label, sir richard bishop is a comfortable traveler in the vast landscape of ethno-musical tradition. we have come to expect a few solo acoustic guitar pieces with the gypsy stylings of his hero, django reinhardt — and as if to tenderize our consciousness and prepare it for the ride, “cross my palm with silver” meets and exceeds our expectations. “rub ‘al khali” is an ode to the oud, a northern african lute of sorts. on “free masonic guitar,” sir richard manifests free form acoustic playing wholly in his own style. peppering the mix are the sounds of electric guitar and lap steel guitar, bringing contrast and color. “hecate’s dream” is a dreamy praise to a dark greek goddess, but “tennessee porch swing” and “canned goods and firearms” switch gears to good old down home americana and country twang.
sir richard is renowned for his prowess and mastery with the guitar, but the piano playing on polytheistic fragments shows a fluid, meditative style. “saraswati” is a lengthy river piece bathed in hindustani serenity, while “cemetery games” is a short celebratory skeletal dance, with more light-heartedness than spook.
in a record with so many spirits, bishop fills in the space where necessary and rounds out the feeling with catchy tunes such as “elysium number five” and “ecstasies in the open air.” polytheistic fragments shows that the divinely inspired sir richard bishop cannot be contained in one form.