Rootless – Docile Cobras


For Matt LaJoie and Ash Brooks to bend their self-release-only rule of their Flower Room Records label and put out Rootless’ Docile Cobras, you know that this is a very special album indeed.

Recorded during the spring of last year, Docile Cobras is Rootless (AKA Jeremy Hurewitz) at perhaps his most mystical. The record is made up of spacious double-tracked acoustic soundscapes augmented with a cornucopia of rare and unusual indigenous Mesoamerican instruments, played by guest contributor and folklorist, Luís Pérez Ixoneztli.

Hurewitz’s fingerpicking throughout the album is airy, and alive with the freedom of flowing rivers, coursing in whatever direction feels the most natural. This quality makes each track spark with the excitement of unpredictability, which never really wears off, no matter how many times you play the record.

This same spontaneous quality seemed to bring the best out of Ixoneztli, who found pockets around and behind Hurewitz’s impassioned guitar lines to play his various shakers, bells and flute-like instruments.

Ixoneztli is more than a mere guest on this record, he’s a sound alchemist. Utilizing everything from whistles and ocarinas that produce birdsongs and frog calls to even the trickling of water in a tub, the folklorist transforms each song into something far more ancient, more instinctual and deeply rooted within the natural world (as well as the earliest forms of music itself).

Perhaps my favorite moment of this sonic magic, is “Silence Has a Sound.” Throughout the song, Hurewitz’s already enigmatic fingerpicking is elevated to a higher plane, as he is surrounded by (literally) thundering percussion and clay flutes (which the liner notes say could be around 1,000 years old) that sound like the distant howls of wolves and coyotes. The track bears a strong ritualistic vibe that transports you far away from where most instrumental guitar records tend to keep you.

For a truly one-of-a-kind music experience that could help you transcend the boundaries of our current dimension, then go no further than Rootless’ Docile Cobras. You can purchase this record today on vinyl, CD-R and tape (and of course digital download) today. Just click here.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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