Lately, I’ve been feeling the pull of marathon aesthetic experiences. Maybe it's the long, sweltering New York summer days baking my brain or a defense mechanism against the obligation to participate in the daily ADHD simulacrum of virtual life, but I've already decided that the extended version of Kenneth Lonergan's colossal film maudit Margaret (2011), is, at over three hours, still a tease. Music-wise, it's a meandering Dead bootleg that stretches into half-day listening sessions or an exhaustive box set. I haven't settled on a sprawling summer read yet, but Adam Levin's mammoth The Instructions beckons from the bookshelf.
It is with this mind-set that I approach Glacial's On Jones Beach, just out on Three Lobed. The album documents a 2005 recording by the trio of Tony Buck, Lee Ranaldo, and David Watson. A 48-minute piece spread over two sides of an LP, On Jones Beach demands patience and focus. Sonic Youth members recording semi-improvised sets with one-off groups is not a breakthrough concept, but Glacial is something different. The criminally under-recorded group exhibits a genuine natural chemistry, but there’s also a mind-meld occurring, a sense of the players purposefully revisiting the tropes of fifty years of post-war improvised and avant-garde musics in an effort to create something novel. The result is a record of uncommon self-reflective pull and understated power.
Although On Jones Beach is best heard as one continuous piece, I’m very happy to present an exclusive, 10-minute excerpt of the record. The album is available now via Three Lobed. The limited vinyl edition includes its very own form of bonus material-- a selection of downloadable live tracks.