20 Billy MohlerAnatomy
Billy Mohler; Nate Wood; Chris Speed; Shane Endsley
Contagious Music CGM007 (billymohler.bandcamp.com/album/anatomy)

It is perhaps fitting that Anatomy – an album most defined by its clarity and attentiveness – is so profoundly anchored by brief, improvised passages. If the track list were to be split into three, the songs titled Abstract would open each side. As it pertains to the pristine arrangements surrounding these vignettes, these solos serve as a sobering reminder of how fruitless and unnecessary a task it can be to draw a hard line between creative processes. There is still that element of cleanliness and craftsmanship present, mainly due to the fidelity of Billy Mohler’s bass.

Through the hypnotic layering and reverb of Abstract 1, one can almost hear the exact point in which fingers make impact with string. But through his diatonic explorations within a fixed range and found resolutions of phrases in real time, it is not only pure spontaneous expression but an admittance that he isn’t one to have an entire arrangement suddenly appear in his head. By bringing the listener through a process, a greater appreciation is gained for the premeditation going into a track such as Equals. The song lives in a ping-pong match between septuple metre sections for long enough that its brief forays into standard time feel like subversive interludes. Mohler understands the power of a well-intentioned bridge, serving as a memorable detour from more prominent ideas while never being reduced to a mere conduit from point A to point B.

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