The Skein features Andrea Parkins on electric accordion, samples, synths, piano, voice & live processing and Jessica Constable on voice and electronics. This marvelous duo played a set at the old DMG store on 5th Street more than six years ago. I remember it well since it was one of those magical occasions that one doesn't forget and that my Aunt Terri and her daughter showed up unexpectedly and asked me if this was a normal Sunday at DMG? It sure was and still is as the Sunday early evening free music series continues. Hopefully we will continue when we move to Chinatown next month.
Of course, downtowners in-the-know are well aware of Andrea Parkins from her decade-plus work with Ellery Eskelin and Jim Black plus her other trio with Nels Cline (who wrote the liner notes here) and Tom Rainey. Both of these women can also be found on Ellery Eskelin's fine double disc called 'Quiet Music'. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from these two, but I was surprised by the wealth of evocative and expressive sounds that this fine duo pulls off. Jessica seems to be singing in some strange invented language (when she is not singing in English) while Andrea adds layers of kaleidoscopic electronic sounds that are forever in flux. Each piece creates a different mysterious sonic sound-scape, sort of like fractured fairy tales. I find this music to be quite hallucinogenic, like a positive acid trip with selective layers of sounds and voices floating through our collective heads. Sometimes someone will drop in a percussion sample or perhaps some spiraling seasoning, yet it all works to provide us with a fascinating journey through thoughtful inner space. Sometimes I feel a bit disoriented but then I remember that life itself is also unnerving at times.