steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Charlie Schmidt

"Xanthe Terra" CD

Strange Attractors Audio House

Genres: American Primitive guitar, acoustic folk, instrumental folk

Strange Attractors
PO Box 13007
Portland OR

Nov 22 - 28 2005

With Xanthe Terra Strange Attractors brings us the latest in American Primitive guitar music, rooted firmly in the traditions of John Fahey and label highlight Steffen Basho-Junghans. Schmidt boasts a very accessible, easy-to-handle style, creating hand-woven acoustic folk tracks filled with mood and melody. Simple key shifts produce mesmerizing sounds; deeply embedded melodies become apparent over multiple listens. The best part about the record is its consistency - from start to finish, Schmidt's moodpieces enchant and enthrall. Be it the looming tension of "Samba De Xanthe Terra" or the jovial Southern accent of "Doggie Blues," this disc never fails to keep you entwined. Two of the most notable pieces are "For Olivia" - which is rich in sparse but intense melodic motifs - and "Slavic Mountain," a piece based on the melody to Peer Gynt.

Schmidt's way of producing subtle, slowly-appreciable compositions is what makes this such a wonderful record. Fans of new acoustic music have got to be track down Xanthe Terra immediately.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2005]