Evan Caminiti: Dreamless Sleep

Barn Owl axeman creates compelling, cinematic new album.

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Supposedly referencing devotional hymns and western movies, the sparse soundscapes conjured by guitarist Evan Caminiti are by turns ecstatic and sinister, and vividly evoke the image of the desert at night. Despite having next to no percussion, the ebb and flow of instruments and interplay between pads and drones, fading and sustained notes creates a rhythm to the pieces and effects a mood that is constantly in flux.

Close in sound to the expansive, beautiful compositions of shoegaze/post-rockers Hammock, Caminiti’s pieces are marked and grounded by the extensive use of vocal samples. This gives an organic feel at odds with his heavy reliance on technology.

Symmetry, the highlight of the set, harks back to Pink Floyd’s Cluster One, from The Division Bell. The guitar parts may lack Dave Gilmour’s rich legato bends, but nevertheless they display a deft control of dynamics and appreciation of timing and phrasing.

Instrumental and especially avant-garde albums can sometimes fall foul of their own intelligence, but perhaps not since Julianna Barwick’s The Magic Place has an abstract album been either so accessible or so breathtakingly transcendental.