Some time back I wrote the one sheet for xo4’s Exile LP. Here it is.
Open Mouth OM25
xo4 is the trio of Jake Meginsky, Bill Nace, and John Truscinski. In 2004 the group began a stunning series of live shows, primarily in the Pioneer Valley, which served as home at the time. They quickly established themselves as a formidable entity, and moved on to record LPs for Ecstatic Peace and Ultra Eczema. While all three work regularly in other contexts, there is a melting of personalities present in xo4 that is unique and truly remarkable.
Exile is the group’s strongest statement yet, a moment of perfect harmony and emotional intelligence. This is music born of tremendous patience and restraint. Periods of near-silence are punctuated by unidentifiable sounds, creating an atmosphere both tense and natural. Events occur with such an unhurried rhythm that time itself seems elastic, toyed with, slowed down, thrown out the window. Whether the changes in atmosphere occur through improvised playing or editing is inconsequential, what matters is dramatic unity. An uninterrupted series of cinematic landscapes, desolate and romantic. Early morning mist. The ability to find comfort with the insects crawling on the skin. The flicker of fire against another’s face in the dark of night.
Not only does it sit outside codified genres or scenes, this record is that rare thing that exists as an event in and of itself. Disaffection finds its pure form in the bareness of speed, as they say, and here you find that you are well out past the end of the desert, moving neither forward nor backward, suspended in air.