The Coincidentalist - NEW WEST
FILTER Grade: 83%
By A. D. Amorosi on November 4, 2013
From his production on the latest KT Tunstall album to his own efforts throughout The Coincidentalist, Howe Gelb has cemented his position as a master of manipulating a desert’s atmosphere into a sonic whole. It’s not as if the Arizona outback hasn’t acted as both inspiration and thematic through-line for previous Gelb works, solo and with his band Giant Sand. But the torrid, languid, gritty tones of Tuscon—as a lyrical set piece as well as an active, ire-filled ambient swell—so overwhelm Gelb’s every spiritual and physical inch, it’s as if sand and silt oozes from his pores on moments such as “Vortexas” and, most hauntingly, “An Extended Plane of Existence.” To Gelb’s credit, he’s gathered a sympathetic musical team of players such as Tunstall, M. Ward and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley to keep the mood of “Left of Center” and “Triangulate” active and buzzing—a tenor too good (or bad) to keep to himself.