Rhythmplex 05 / USA / 2016
The new solo effort of Jon Mueller, Tongues, is an invigorating and ecstatic record of transference. Within it, voices of desperate meaning speak and howl in unknown languages, while vibrating skin, string, and metal transport them from their obscure origin. Together they project a kind of bodily singing of the world set to pummeling and relentless rhythms. Arranged and performed by Mueller using various bass drums, percussion and his own voice, the record also features contributions from Cory Allen and William Ryan Fritch. Allen’s harmonium, tanpura and ceremonial breath (learned from shamans in the Amazon rainforest) add a tonal depth and trance--like energy. Fritch, who many will recognize from Mueller’s previous Death Blues Ensemble record, adds sarangi, played through a piano as a sort of resonant amplifier, creating a ghostly melodic sense that enriches the record’s driving rhythms with a sense of timelessness.