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Empty Bell Ringing In the Sky - EP

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Album Review

With it's title nod to the Nonesuch Explorer Series, Pelt's sixth VHF release took a deeper swipe at the outer world of sound than they had previously attempted, and succeeded mesmerizingly. Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky (issued as a limited-edition double-LP as well as a CD) draws thematic pulse from the final piece in the running order, the 18-minute "Ghost Galaxies." Drawing upon the sound of Tibetan bowls, the sound rings wash over the listener in hypnotically drenching waves, opening up dark and inviting vistas that are explored fully on the set's three other cuts. Chief among them is the group's complete 35-minute set from the 1998 Terrastock II outsider music festival in San Francisco, as well as the stirring lead-off piece "Ghosts Are Never Forgiven," which mills about and rustles itself into something that sounds like a Halloween sound effects record made by the ghost of Charles Ives jamming with the Dirty Three. The five years of perpetual sound-making motion that Pelt men Patrick Best, Jack Rose, and Mike Gangloff had journeyed through prior to the making of Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky reach fruition in this darkly blistered platter. Judging from these sounds, who would guess that the next direction that the always-shifting trio would embrace would be the country blues?


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Pelt is a trio formed in Richmond, VA, whose drones are influenced by psychedelia, modern composition, and, on albums such as 2001's Ayahuasca, Appalachian folk music and Indian raga. Its core members include Jack Rose, Mike Gangloff, and Patrick Best, but the band often collaborates with other artists and groups. After a few early singles, Pelt solidified its lineup and released its first album, Brown Cyclopaedia, on its own Radioactive Rat label in 1995; it was later reissued by VHF. Pelt's second...
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Empty Bell Ringing In the Sky - EP, Pelt
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