Paul Metzger: Anamnestic Tincture
Anamnestic Tincture is a terrific document of former TVBC guitarist Paul Metzger's musical experiential shift over the last seven or eight years. The first side highlights Metzger's first sustained public debut of his treated banjo (it's strung and tuned like a sitar) at the 2002 Destijl Festival at the Church. Side Two contrasts that first performance with one at a memorial for Matt Zaun, drummer for Salamander and Di Dollari, in January, 2008.
The flurries of notes in "After Milo" (referring to his place on the festival's bill) evoke both the maximalism of Indian music and guitar army composer Glenn Branca, using a repeating motif that's part raga and part slide blues. Side Two's opener, "Dark Green Water," moves toward more austere compositional structures and time signatures while still keeping the banjo-pickin' fury intact. Most stunning is "Orans," played on a guitar using a cymbal as a resonator and strung with 10 different steel strings. The sound is blindingly metallic—like he's playing music on the side of the Weisman Art Museum with a nail gun—and yet delicate, in a way.
This limited-run LP, which is a vinyl-only release, is vital because it preserves memories in its grooves. It's bittersweet—the Desitjl festival is no more, the Church is shuttered, but you put this on, and someone's flicked a switch and you are transported back right to the source. Even if you never were there. It's that magic.
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