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Walt Shaw & Jim Tetlow: Inner Skull Trail


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Walt Shaw & Jim Tetlow: Inner Skull Trail
This is a fascinating audio expedition crafted by the collaborative talents of Walt Shaw and Jim Tetlow. This album is a sequel to their previous work Cartography of Dreams, for the same record label.

Each track is a testament to the duo's spontaneous improvisational prowess. Recorded in one live session, the music is executed via a raw and unfiltered creative process. It is a production which is as much an auditory experience as a performance art piece, blurring the lines between planned composition and impromptu creation.

Walt Shaw brings an eclectic mix of instruments to the table, including gongs, frame drums, bowls, bells, and a variety of hand percussion instruments, along with chains, springs, homemade instruments, and found objects. Complementing Shaw's acoustic array, Jim Tetlow wields his laptop as an instrument, manipulating virtual instruments, samples, and effects to create an immersive sound landscape.

This session stands out for its integration of sound with a strong visual aesthetic, a reflection of both artists' backgrounds as visual artists. Their approach to music creation is animated, treating sound as a canvas to be layered, textured, and colored. For example, time stands still during the launch of "Foundry Garden Find," as they venture into an abyss where Tetlow employs a wavy organ sound, complementing Shaw's use of small objects and percussion implements. Amid some give and take, the duo lowers the temperature with miniscule ethereal tonalities, taking matters into an altered sense of reality.

Genre-wise, this outing is an eclectic mix. It comfortably resides in the realms of free jazz, electronic, experimental, and progressive music, yet it defies easy categorization. It is an album which invites listeners to explore the depths of sound and emotion, to experience music as a series of notes and off-centered rhythms, and as a journey through a rich, multi-sensory landscape.

"Deep Stone Shine" is a piece which conjures a sensibility of interstellar space noise tracked by a NASA computer system via artful sound-shaping maneuvers. The final track, "The Archaeology of Dreams," is a literal dreamscape, meshed with the sounds of nature combined with roaring computer-based effects and bizarre musings.

So, strap in and prepare for a journey. This is not average background music; it is a full-blown expedition which demands listeners' attention, imagination and, perhaps, a comfortable chair. It is perfect for those who like their music to challenge the status quo and dance outside the box. Inner Skull Trail is an invitation to an unforgettable sonic adventure.

Track Listing

In A Littoral Zone; The Ontology Of Objects; Foundry Garden Find; Edgy Round Corners; The Mind-Eye Is Central; Deep Stone Shine; Cellular; The Archaeology Of Dreams.


Walt Shaw
Jim Tetlow
Additional Instrumentation

Walt Shaw – gongs, frame drums, bowls, bells, hand percussion, chains, springs, home-made instruments, found objects, electronics, voice. Jim Tetlow: laptop; virtual instruments, samples and effects.

Album information

Title: Inner Skull Trail | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Discus Music


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