I’ve saved the best for last. The Fall of Us All is a stunning recording, a whirling devilish dervish of a disk that alternatively assaults and seduces listeners with electric and acoustic energy. This is the best Steve Tibbetts recording ever, combining the near-manic electric energy of Yr and Exploded View with the acoustic delicacy of Northern Song and Big Map Idea into a whole that transcends its many fine parts. What is most impressive about this music is the way it blends so many influences together into an integrated whole. Tibbetts and his cohort, including long-time collaborator Marc Anderson on percussion; Claudia Schmidt and Rhea Valentine, who provides vocalese; Marcus Wise, tabla; Jim Anton and Eric Andersen, bass; and Mike Olson, synthesizers, seem to really be involved in the making of music–not the packaging of music, or the selling of music, but of the real making of music in the most fundamental, elemental sense. Forget that prepackaged world music fusion stuff–Steve Tibbetts’s music is true world music, true music, and its well-recorded energy can blow you right away.
Listening to The Fall of Us All makes me remember why it was that I ever got interested in kilowatt / killerwoofer audio equipment in the first place–it was to hear real music, really loud and really clean. Ecstasy!