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Cover Art

Harris Newman ( )

Non-Sequiturs
Strange Attractors Audio House ( )
Non-Sequiturs is a beautiful no-frills acoustic guitar instrumental album. This record sounds like what the walls must hear whenever Harris Newman picks up his guitar to play, practice, meditate or even noodle. Newman is a noted Montreal-based finger-style guitarist who also operates Montreal's Grey Market Mastering audio facility (Polmo Polpo, Sam Shalabi, The Arcade Fire, The Dears). His style of playing is unique, informed and raw sounding. On Non-Sequiturs, Newman uses acoustic and lapsteel guitars to gently weave his subtle brand of lush underground-folk music. This recording is a tapestry of acoustic daydreams and lullabies. Some tracks are lyrical and melodically meandering, like ̈around about thirty-siẍ and ̈the pyramids̈, other tracks are hypnotic finger picking workouts, like ̈bitten̈ and ̈sometimes a bad attitude is all it takes̈, and some tracks are ambient sleep walking pieces, like ̈feral blues̈ and ̈god is in the details̈. All of these different styles and sounds meld together to create a seamless recording which sounds like it could all be from one single impromptu performance. If you close your eyes, while listening to Non-Sequiturs, its like a free spontaneous Harris Newman concert right before your very (closed) eyes. The production on Non-Sequiturs captures the squeaks and squawks of NewmanÂ’s fingers as they grind up and down the strings of his guitar. The microphones sound like they must have been built right into NewmanÂ’s guitar because you literally hear the instrument breathing and creaking as it is played. Bruce Cawdron (godspeedyoublackemperor) provides wallpaper percussions (drum kit, pandeiro, bodhran, bowed cymbals) on a handful of tracks and his room sound rumblings complement NewmanÂ’s guitar work beautifully. There is a stream of consciousness continuously flowing through all the tracks on this album. Non-Sequiturs was released on Portland, Oregon based record label, Strange Attractors Audio House (www.strange-attarctors.com). The label is an offshoot from the long-running radio program on KAOS Olympia 89.3 FM which goes by the same name. Their moto is “strange oscillations in modern musicÂâ€� and the imprint strives to document and nurture challenging "out" music.

By L Pounds
Jan 15, 2004

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