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