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Six Organs of Admittance - Luminous Night

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Artist: Six Organs of Admittance

Album: Luminous Night

Label: Drag City

Review date: Aug. 3, 2009

Ben Chasny may have pioneered all he’s going to pioneer as Six Organs of Admittance – Luminous Night digs a couple of new holes, but obviously only for the hell of it – but he’s found bliss in revision. If the first draft of anything is shit, as stand-up suicide Hemingway put it, then revision is the necessary aftermath of creation, and any creator may as well enjoy it. If creation is having a kid, revision is being a good parent. And Chasny has been a good, good dad. As with every 6OoA release since School of the Flower (since he signed to Drag City, if you’re playing along at home), Chasny has souped up his production values, and they’ve never been sharper than they are on Luminous Night, checking everything Chasny has ever done well with unprecedented clarity.

Most importantly, there’s some damned good gee-tar happening. As always. The way Chasny is pickin’, he’s earned the privilege of grinnin’. The victory lap is the perfect time for the humanizing confession.

It depends on what you prefer: music, lyrics or both. Most of us don’t even notice the lyrics. So let’s start with the music. From the martial snare on “Acteaon’s Fall (Against the Hounds)” through the hypnotic tabla on “Bar-Nasha” (respect for the east!) through the verdant drone “Cover Your Wounds With the Sky” (which could afford a timeshare on a Tim Hecker album) through the confrontationally formless, furtively negative closer “Enemies Before the Light,” Luminous Night sounds… like a motherfucker. Stronger than anything Chasny has put out yet. More memorable than anyone in his graduating class. I know it’s been a few minutes since anyone gave a shit, but in case anyone’s checking in, “freak folk” finally got perfected. Actually, he’s maximized returns on his own formula, which was always more interesting than any other “freak folk.”

(Except for maybe Earth, an honorary PhD, and definitely Sun City Girls, whose mutual frere Randall Dunn contributes here, so give Chasny more points for not pretending to live in a vacuum. Seriously – has anyone else ever done an Arthur interview that made anyone more inclined to plunk down for the new album? One or two, if that. “Successful human” looks damned good on anyone’s resume.)

What’s potentially more interesting to the word freaks among us is Chasny’s emergence as a character, the puppeteer stepping up from behind the Fahey-indebted psychedelicized mishmash. Witness “Ursa Minor,” Chasny’s most agonizingly personal song to date. “To leave any town at any time / A skill acquired from being alone… We took the train last week / But the train don’t run no more… This hospital’s no place to say goodbye.” If you’re down-to-earth enough to be lonely most of the time, BC speaks the truth, y’all.

By Emerson Dameron

Other Reviews of Six Organs of Admittance

Six Organs of Admittance


The Manifestation

School of the Flower

The Sun Awakens

Shelter From the Ash


Asleep on the Floodplain


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