Guy Blakeslee’s music freely shifts form from three-headed Cerberus snarl of The Entrance Band to Der Wanderer solo sublimity of Entrance, seemingly playing off of the different inflected meanings of its moniker. There is no single entity for Blakeslee; all is instead a “Mirror of a Mirror of a Mirror.” So, right away we’re pineal glad-deep in esoteric attributions.
But fear not, this record is not one of forced concepts or burnt-incense hemp wringing. Like Robbie Basho, Blakeslee grounds his wordless explorations in recurring guitar motives and Eastern improvisatory practices. The lulling, cosmic porch picking of “Oh Johnny” breaks into cluster-fly delay loops and high neck slide work reminiscent of the erhu’s wide vibrato in Chinese folk music. “Solitary Ecstacy Holiday Smile Prayer,” in the tradition of North Indian raga, successively ornaments different notes in the underlying mode over a constant drone loop, but with the hints of Appalachia and LA blotter psych.
The contrast of Blakeslee’s presentations makes each more compelling. The extended explorations of Thirdeye Memories have greater impact because you know the guy can rip a dirty, 3:00 acid boogie if he wants to. His choice demands attention, and rewards it by expressively developing reflective relationships in the music itself. There are markers in the meditative sprawl.
Check out some of the custom artwork Blakeslee makes to accompany each hard copy here.