I Was Real

On paper, a duo listing a plywood crate among their primary instruments doesn’t promise much more than a modest fruit and veg delivery.

But New York’s 75 Dollar Bill are capable of doing remarkable things with very little. This fifth album sees percussionist Rick Brown and 12-string guitarist Che Chen subscribing to avant-garde composer Tony Conrad’s Eternal Music theory across 70-plus minutes of ecstatic, locked-in trance music informed by Lightnin’ Hopkins’ raw boogie, Appalachian drone, and the hypnotic, reverberating energy of Moroccan gnawa music.

With a cabal of guest players helping ratchet up the intensity of the duo’s acclaimed 2016 album Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock, Chen is free to ride a series of deep, psychedelic grooves and deliver an absolute masterclass in cosmic blues.

8/10

Chris Parkin

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