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JAMES BLACKSHAW/THE GLASS BEAD GAME/ Review

Eye Weekly Toronto / by Chris Bolton

Blackshaw’s seventh album The Glass Bead Game — played on a 12-string acoustic guitar and piano with occasional string and vocal accompaniment — is nothing short of elemental.

Eye weekly / toronto


James Blackshaw:
The Glass Bead Game
YOUNG GOD

BY CHRIS BILTON June 10, 2009 21:06



If you haven’t heard of James Blackshaw, here’s hoping that the Londoner’s
move to ex-Swans singer Michael Gira’s Young God label will help spread the
word of his stunning talents. Blackshaw’s seventh album The Glass Bead Game
— played on a 12-string acoustic guitar and piano with occasional string and
vocal accompaniment — is nothing short of elemental. Frenetic piano figures
cascade in a mesmerizing swirl, exuding mood and melody rather that stating
them directly (especially on the 18-minute “Arc”) while his guitar playing
echoes Alice Coltrane’s harp work. The Glass Bead Game is challenging and
soothing, as well as very easy to become wholly absorbed in.

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