Experimental guitarist Julia Reidy moved to Berlin last year where, in addition to her solo work, she plays in a “thrashy improv” duo called Pales in “places you probably haven’t been to”. She bought her twelve-string guitar just 18 months ago but plays it neck to bridge as though she’s owned it forever, extracting an invigorating miscellany of sourness and warmth, twang and sustain.
Themes rarely repeat in Reidy’s compositions so when a series of rueful notes does reprise in Something I Could Do it is disproportionally arresting. Bobbing up, amid an erratic sea, the passage assumes significance, like she’s stooped to spell something out for us. You absorb it like a sponge, involuntarily, because we can’t help but latch on to repetition. Reidy’s harsh, choppy strumming on Upwelling brings to mind the bracing crescendos of The Necks. But where the jazz trio hammers it home, Reidy backs off, slyly stymieing any hope of resolution.