Loren Connors - Evangeline
Trying to dig into the long and varied career of Loren Mazzacane Connors is no easy task. His recordings date back to the late 70s, much of which were improvised and released in small pressings. Since that time, he has assembled an extensive catalog of avant-blues and experimental guitar pieces that are singular in their beauty and abstract resonance. He’s collaborated with a long lists of guitarists within the avant-garde from the likes of John Fahey, Alan Licht, Kath Bloom, Thurston Moore, Keiji Haino, Jandek, Jim O’Rourke and Cat Power.
At the same time, he’s been recognized within the traditional blues world as some of his works lie within the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi.
After taking a break from music in the late 80’s (while he focused on art and writing), he began experimenting with guitar amidst noise-based soundscapes, mainly for his own label, Black Label, and Road Cone. It’s the latter imprint that released the spooky but lovely LP, Evangeline in 1998. Connors begins the record with his signature tone - hushed and extremely sparse guitars taking shape gradually and beautifully within the span of two minutes. His tone slowly, and menacingly, begin to transform into a chilling dark cloud with ambient washes of smoggy reverberations lingering for nearly eight minutes. The stark tone will leave you speechless but he lulls you back into hypnosis with the start of the B-side, and the gorgeous and all-encompassing, “Voice Of The Ocean, Despair Not!” Connors’ narrows his lense for the close of Evangeline with a string of closeted, broken-down and frail, folk ballads calling to mind another stunner in his oeuvre, Blues: The Dark Paintings Of Mark Rothko (1990).
The key with Evangeline and Connors overall, is not to be intimidated by his perspective. His tone and compositions are quite warm and welcoming, and you shouldn’t feel the need to understand or absorb all of his recordings. Just pay some attention to the records that feel right. Evangeline is certainly one of those. Available in a limited press, first time on vinyl. (Dom)
Check out a track here.