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abbc | tête à tête (Wabana)
a for Naim Amor and b for Thomas Belhom (Amor Belhom Duo), who join forces with the Calexico pair Joey Burns and John Convertino (bc), for this eclectic album of 11 tracks (7 are instrumentals, one of which is the closing 'hidden' track) recorded over a 15 month period in Tucson, USA. It all sounds like the soundtrack to a wonderfully quirky French independent movie set in the outer reaches of a lost spiritual America, where the wind forever blows hot in the Arizona desert, and the existential central character somehow just ekes out a living. Let's call him Gilbert, because this is the title of one of the album's stand-out tracks (the other being Elevator Baby), and appropriately, another song is called Mobile Home "she, she seems unique / me,I only got one life / the whole thing seems like / a mobile home" (but sung in French, needless to say). And here she comes, the film-maker herself, Marianne Dissard (and d for Diva) singing (in English, or should that be 'American') her Elevator Baby, as spine-tingling as her performance on The Ballad Of Cable Hogue (from Calexico's latest album Hot Rail). An album to get lost in; to soak up the heat of these strange, relentless, percussive sounds, and then to find some kind of oasis in the focus that Dissard brings to these projects; let's have her starring in the next one - could be as easy as abbcd.

Wonderboy Preacher
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001