Dixie's Death Pool's The Man With Flowering Hands is approachable avant-garde

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      The Man With Flowering Hands (Drip Audio)

      Drip Audio has put out a stellar collection of forward-thinking releases over the years from nouveau-jazzniks like Fond of Tigers and Inhabitants, and the local label flies its freak flag again with Dixie’s Death Pool’s new LP, The Man With Flowering Hands. But while those other acts hover near the fringes of the jazz scene, DDP leader Lee Hutzulak creates an amalgam of sounds on his art collective’s latest eclectic effort.

      The electro-acoustic psych-folk opener “Sunlight Is Collecting on My Face”, for instance, comes across like a beach-bound acid flashback; synth screeches intertwine with warming acoustic strums, slack-key-guitar slides and ice-cube-clinking xylophone hits. The title track plays a little harder, however, with vigorous metronomes and electronic squelches firing off as if Hutzulak has captured the inner workings of an interstellar clock tower.

      The tinny, broken-AM-radio production style of “Chuck Will’s Widow” thrives on simple back-porch blues licks and the singer-songwriter’s early-morning whisper, but other parts of the set are imbued with unorthodox additions, like the sounds of heated grapeseed oil and the crinkling of a Ferrero Rocher chocolate box.

      Though it’s avant-garde on paper, there’s no denying the sheer beauty of Lief Hall’s vocals hovering above “Sky Woman’s Directive” ’s sonic tapestry of textured horn blasts, helicopter whirrs, and cello swells. Its makeup may be weird as hell, but The Man With Flowering Hands is surprisingly the most approachable local disc of the year.