Nathan Salsburg continues his growing series of Landwerk recordings. The project began back in 2020. While sequestered at home, Salsburg began works that were inspired by The Caretaker’s catalog, steeped as they are in a sense of degrading memory. In the original setup, Salsburg restricted himself to just 78 RPM samples, electric guitar, and homemade lap steel. He’s since opened the palette up, expanding the instrumentation with resonator guitar, organ, and piano. The emotional weight remains the same, though, and Nathan again embarked on six new pieces that spring forth from existing 78s. The source material draws from similar wells of Romanian and Jewish folk music that has informed the Landwerk series in the past.
Like his inspiration in The Caretaker, the works are imbued with a heavy sense of memory. They’re laden with a historical thread that pulls together eras, like recycling old clothes into family quilts to be passed down for generations. Tattered and torn, Salsburg uses pieces of the past to form new works, crackling with dust and deterioration, but reinvigorated with his new instrumentation. It’s nice to see that this wasn’t a one-off pandemic fancy, but has evolved into a dialog with Nathan’s past, and a sort of companion set to his תהלים = Psalms album, which touches on similar reinterpretations of culture, tradition, and history.
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