Black Dirt Oak
Wawayanda Patent is difficult to classify. There is clear influence from around the world, from India to Egypt to all across the United States. Sometimes the album sounds like traditional folk, sometimes it’s intensely electronic.
Yet with the fusion of so many different musical ideas comes a peculiar psychedelic sound that is unique to Black Dirt Oak, a supergroup consisting of seven musicians from bands such as Pelt, Black Twig Pickers, Pigeons and Rhyton.
Wawayanda Patent begins with “The Real Crow,” a rhythmically ambiguous song that sounds like the beginning of an Indian raga mixed with folksy music from the western United States. The track lulls the listener into a state of relaxation in preparation for what is to come.
The rest of the album builds off of the opening relaxing sound, but with new ideas that make each track unique. “Peeled Egg Cigarette,” is steadier than the first because it adds a continuous guitar line that’s washed over by electronic instruments and soft vocals.
Some songs on the album clash with the overall serene mood, adding interest and intrigue. “Heurequeque,” which is in a slow triple meter, includes intentional feedback, giving a harsher sound to what would otherwise be a very soothing track.
The album feels cyclical, ending much like it started with the rhythmically ambiguous “Crowning The Bard.”
Wawayanda Patent is a very unusual album, but one that is worth listening to. Black Dirt Oak is comprised of diverse musicians, but they unite to create a compelling musical composition.
— Stephanie Zimmerman
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