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ARTIST
TITLE
The Whole
FORMAT
LP+CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
TYPE 074LP TYPE 074LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
10/12/2010

LP version. Includes an exclusive bonus CD of 30-minute album, The Whole -- mixed by Olivia Block. The Whole might be avant-percussionist Jon Mueller's first album for the Type imprint, but it's far from his scene debut. Working in a plethora of bands for many years (including Collections Of Colonies Of Bees and Volcano Choir with Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver), Mueller has honed his sound to a distinct peak, and over the course of umpteen solo albums and collaborations has cemented his status as one of experimental music's most revered drummers. Following his epic works Metals (a collection of classic heavy metal rhythms) and the expansive and surprisingly beautiful Physical Changes, both for the esteemed Table Of The Elements label, Mueller embarked on the heady process of creating a "defining" work. Intrigued by ideas of simplicity and acoustic sound, Mueller's research drew him to Shaker crafts and quilt-making, both deceptively simple practices rooted in the transmission of ideas. Over time, these experiences were interpreted in many different ways, almost certainly inaccurately, and this miscommunicated simplicity is at the very center of The Whole. Through a rolling, unamplified snare drum (a piece of kit perfected over a year of intense practice), booming low toms, hammered dulcimer and his own voice, Mueller creates a sound that is wholly original and totally beguiling. There are traces of folk traditions and lines drawn to the avant garde idiom, but Mueller's sound is so singularly perfected, it is hard to connect him to specific peers. The Whole is an album that sounds like both a relic of the past and an echo of the future. The ideas are anchored in memory and tradition, yet the sound is alien and sometimes impenetrable. Over time, as the messages are stripped back, an unabashedly gorgeous piece of work is revealed. Like a good book, it requires patience and contemplation to show its beating heart.