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Living Contact

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Album Review

Charalambides' Christina Carter recorded most of Living Contact in 1995, originally issuing it on the group's Wholly Other imprint with a limited-run CD-R. Almost ten years later, Kranky steps in to issue it for the whole world to hear. While many limited-edition discs are entirely of their time, Living Contact was one of the few that served as a barometer for the shape of things to come, trailblazing the way for a host of folk-based improv artists who have followed, from Devendra Banhart's dusty debut to the prolific Jewelled Antler Collective to Philadelphia's Espers. It has the same drifting stream-of-consciousness dream haze of Charalambides' work — but instead of layers of electric mist, a bare voice and acoustic guitar carve out Carter's inner visions. Her voice reaches toward diminished chords with a hypnotic determinism to channel ghosts, while the guitar playing is magically distracted, like stumbling upon a tape of someone talking to herself; its effect is similar to fellow Texan Jandek, although Carter's stance is more inviting than that of Jandek the ultimate loner. Recommended for the adventurous, as are the other discs by Carter and others in the CD-R series on Wholly Other.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Guitarist Christina Carter is a founding member of the Texas psych-improv-folk group Charalambides. Since the mid-'90s she has recorded solo and in the improvised guitar/lap steel duo Scorces as well. Many of Carter's solo albums were issued in small runs on CD-R and as a result are hard to find. Her second album, Living Contact,...
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Living Contact, Christina Carter
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