[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
The heart has four chambers, each an indispensable part of the whole. Blood rushes through all of them and is pumped ceaselessly until one day it all comes to a grinding halt; how this precious resource is directed and just who designed this system is a subject of endless debate amongst talking heads and merchants of dubious repute. Whether or not Bob Bellerue created the four pieces of this release with an answer in mind to this question is up in the air; for me, the idea of a Gaucho or Cowboy archetype wrangling this hemoglobular herd into their prospective cardinal holding pens was too much to pass up.
My suspicions were first aroused by the pauses which Bellerue takes in each one of these massive compositions, the entire tone shifts and the focus is uprooted in a similar fashion. There are the drones, the sprawling banks of feedback but there is also a ceaseless emphasis on the percussive side of things; this should not surprise anyone listening given that one of his installations involved contact microphones and kettle drums.
If this sounds epic in scale then my vocabulary has done it’s job because this release is massive. Yet for all the impressive variance in both instrumentation and production there’s something strangely familiar about what he’s done; I don’t mean in terms of comparisons to other artists or even the vein of sound he’s mining: it is that compulsion to hone in on one individual sound, wring all you can from it and then integrate the mangled remains along with whatever else has come to a similar fate.
Maybe I’m extrapolating too much but if you keep investigating ‘Gaucho Sessions’ it becomes obvious the amount of detail concealed is no accident.
Could anyone else have done this? That’s the thing, you just don’t know. I’ve spent considerable time at his website and this is a guy who has been around for quite a while, operating out of the spotlight; it continually fascinates me just how many people like him are out there doing their thing and not particularly caring if anyone notices. As the cult of celebrity continues to fan out deeper and deeper into the underground folks like Bob here only move further and further into uncharted musical territories; I’ve quite a bit of work ahead of me delving into his catalog but I’m quite certain it won’t ever get boring. Or safe.