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Gutta Percha
Tube Overtures (The Land of) CD

Gutta Percha is Brent and Ryan Hibbett, two brothers from Illinois and Tube Overtures is their debut full-length. Packaged in a simple wooden box, it’s an endearingly odd record. At the album’s core is a series of pocket trumpet (or sometimes guitar) improvisations on old television themes from shows like “Little House on the Prairie,” “Hill Street Blues,” and “M.A.S.H.” — a riff on the soundtrack to a thousand days home sick from school or work. The Hibbetts’ interpretations of these syndicated chestnuts are slow and melancholic. The recordings, often made into voicemail systems, are low-fi and reverberant. They are then combined with everyday sounds: chirping insects, passing traffic, and the gentle chattering of the TV itself. It’s atmospheric and strangely affecting, especially when listened to in a state of semi-distraction, which heightened the already impressionistic quality of the music. There are a couple of non-television-themed pieces here added to fill things out, and while they’re nice on their own, they’re somewhat beside the point. At over 70 minutes, it lasts a bit too long, just like sick days spent sacked out in front of the tube.

-Susanna Bolle

 

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