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Labradford, "fixed::context"

Similar to the Tortoise and New Year albums, the newest Labradford audio document also heads down the path of re-examining older concepts through current methodology. (And like the New Year, this was also recorded with assistance from Steve Albini in July of 2000 in Chicago.) The trio return to a certain purity of earlier albums with the absence of additional players which colored the last few. 'Fixed::Content' could be the most personal recording a group like Labradford can get while remaining completely instrumental. The album is an exercise in patience, symmetry and impressionistically represents the group as the trio they are.


Side one is completely filled by "Twenty," which reintroduces the interstate trio with a warm sub-bass frequency pulse combined with two guitarists paying careful attention to each other. It's the establishment of foundation and order, of which the rest of the album is to follow. Bobby Donne has put down the bass this time out and has become the strong force of the left channel as guitarist throughout the entire CD. Mark Nelson's guitar work predominates the right channel while Carter's organic cushion and foundation spans both. Taking its time, "Twenty" appropriately passes into different phases, starting with a long play of guitars and drones, then adding slow, glitchy electronic beats and graceful lead notes emerging from the organic keyboards, finishing with a static-esque hum through fade out. Side two follows a similar formula of both guitarists playing complimentary melodies on each side while breathy electronics take the foundation. Side two is also notably broken up into three songs of relatively equal length, which can also be interpreted as representational of the trio.