Boxhead Ensemble La Hora Magica

Boxhead Ensemble


Astral Spirits Batch #18 Jerman • Barnes Birchall / Smal / Webster More Eaze / A.F. Jones & Steve Flato Monas

Michael Krassner is a musician you’ve most likely heard but you probably haven’t realized it.  Krassner has been composing music under the Boxhead Ensemble (as well as many other outlets) since 1991 and although releases have been somewhat sparse – with releases in the late 90’s and early 00’s on Atavistic, and most recently their LP on Hired Hand last year – we at Astral Spirits couldn’t be more excited and proud to present yet another installment in the Boxhead Ensemble discography.  Boxhead Ensemble has featured an ever rotating line-up since it’s beginning, which has included such notables as Edith Frost, David Grubbs, Tim Rutili, Glenn Kotche, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jim O’Rourke, Doug McCombs, Will Oldham, Scott Tuma, Mick Turner, Ken Vandermark & Jim White. Krassner has been the only consistent member.

Boxhead Ensemble has generally been an outlet of music to accompany film and although there may not be an actual film for “La Hora Magica” (if someone wants to make said film please let me know) the music suggests more beyond what is present — this is music to get lost in, or forget that it’s even on, in the best possible way.  The track “Cats Cup” takes a simple guitar loop that sounds like it was recorded on a beach and then adds layers of guitar, bass, violin & keyboards.  Nothing ever overtakes the guitar loop, yet sometimes it’s hard to remember that the loop is there and sometimes it’s hard to hear anything beyond the guitar loop.  From what I know some of this music was recorded over a weekend when Adam Busch (Manishevitz, Sonoi) & Wil Hendricks (Califone, Simon Joyner, Lofty Pillars, etc) were visiting Krassner and the improv was then shaped & manipulated into the tracks you have before you.  “La Hora Magica” is yet another incredible addition to the Boxhead Ensemble discography that hopefully will continue for another 20 years or more. Krassner & company never seem to tire of ideas and we are all the better for it.

“La Hora Magica” is out on March 31st, 2015 in an edition of 150 tapes with digital download.
Review by Bill Meyer for DUSTED MAGAZINE.
Review by Marc Weidenbaum for DISQUIET.
Review by Eyal Hareuveni for FREEJAZZBLOG