Raphi Gottesman

Signed, Noisemaker

Raphi Gottesman's tape under his given name is a thing of great diversity that finds its common core in effulgent guitar work and structurally sound compositions. Maybe you could tell in the way that these tracks feel built from the ground up, but Gottesman drums, has drummed or somehow contributed for groups Odawas, The Fresh & Onlys, The Black Swans and Sonny & the Sunsets. Maybe it is the drummer in him because these tracks feel fully-fleshed out and the result of compositional decision-making around rhythm rather than home-studio fuckery (I'm sure there is plenty of that though).

Tracks that include the whole one-man-band set up are some of the most rewarding listens of a year already brimming with great music. The opening bass line on "If I Wanted a Boat" is straight out of some Serge Gainsbourg Parisian pop meets jazz-based Midwestern post-rock. The way the trumpets follow the guitars harmony is hair-raising and reminiscent of an incredibly fertile but short lived Chicago/Champaign-Urbana scene in the mid-90's where former punk rock kids discovered jazz and realized they were really good at playing their instruments. Much of what there is to love about this record is Gottesman guitar playing. It can move from delicate folk, to the forlorn slide in landscape-making post-rock style, to muscular and triumphant in the feedback-heavy "Skokie Friend". The aforementioned forlorn slide guitar is a perfect accompaniment to the jazz-influenced rolls and fills on "Signed, Noisemaker".

While the blueprint-rich compositions on "Signed, Noisemaker" make this an album easy to return to over and over, tracks that are more cloud than building are still as beautiful as anything else out there. Organ heavy "Need Not be a House to be Haunted" features high pitches that pierce through the organ drones that sound inexplicably like a Glass Armonica (which I will forever associate with new age CD thrift store finds and Benjamin Franklin). "Till the Anchor Holds" is another example of Gottesman's eliding, spectral guitar work that by sheer timing and delay can create longing passages the same tonal quality of a picture taken out of the backseat window of a road trip with your family when you were 11.

Not even out for a month and Signed, Noisemaker is on its second press. Which is what happens to super limited run tapes on amazing Swedish tape labels. You can get this one from Raphi, with the same stunning artwork by our pal Liz Pavlovic.

Purchase from Bandcamp

March 5th, 2015