Review | Songlines

Microfolk 1-3

Rating: ★★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details


Chaz Knapp, Cy Werner & Chaz Prymek


Scissor Tail Editions


The deeply impressionistic, pointillist improvisations spread across these three wonderful collaborative cassette releases are like subtle adornments to the natural surroundings in which they were captured. Old-time banjo flail and dobro slide, gathered alfresco amid the wildernesses of Arkansas and Missouri, are lent a sepia-tinged tone by atrophying tape loops working in simpatico communiqué with musty field recordings of rain showers and chirping cicadas. Cy Werner, on secondment from experimental folkies the Magic Tuber Stringband, joins for a wailing fiddle session from the banks of the Buffalo River, channelling the celestial hillbilly hoedowns of Henry Flynt, while elsewhere Knapp and Prymek coax tentative note clusters from dulcimer and guitar. Bruce Langhorne’s magnificently spare soundtrack to The Hired Hand and the organic drones of the one-time minimalist enclaves of the Jewelled Antler collective are both obvious reference points, but an allegory can also be found in the inscrutable microscripts of Swiss writer Robert Walser, for a fragmented series of hush-hush sides scrawled in miniature, bustling with simple, mysterious, roughly-hewn pleasures, like a set of esoteric codes tapped out in the form of an Ozark love letter.

Subscribe from only £5.53

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.


View the Current

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more