Peregrine Falls (Drip Audio)
Although they’ve collaborated in various projects for the better part of two decades, percussionist Kenton Loewen and guitarist Gordon Grdina are probably best known to fans of Dan Mangan, having made significant contributions to his critically lauded 2011 album Oh Fortune as well as 2015’s Club Meds, the latter of which saw their efforts, among sympathetic members of Vancouver’s experimental music scene, credited to Blacksmith. Peregrine Falls is a whole other kettle of fish.
Peregrine Falls’ eponymous debut was coproduced and released by Drip Audio head Jesse Zubot. Those expecting the warm, introspective insight of Mangan will be lost on this record. This is pure, unfiltered Loewen and Grdina, condensed into a barrage of hard-rocking riffs and pounding drums that assault the senses in the best way possible.
The record is largely instrumental and improvised, which works fine considering that the duo’s palpable chemistry and hard-earned skills come through on every track. While Loewen propels the momentum with his rib-rattling beats and forays on piano and theremin, Grdina’s style on all manner of plucked string instruments draws from a rich tapestry of experimental and worldly influences, imploring fans of King Crimson, Primus, and Ali Farka Touré to take note.