One thing that has always stood out to me about Ezra Buchla‘s music is its timeless quality. So much of what bubbles to the surface from the contemporary underground (is there still an underground?) seems to be a fun house mirror reflection of our current mass culture, or the mass culture that was prominent when this generation of artists were coming of age. Although Buchla (who happens to be the son of Don) has some traces of grunge in his aesthetic, he seems happily removed from the tide of the current electronic subculture. If you’re lucky enough to catch one of his performances at LA DIY haunts such as Dem Passwords or Pehrspace, you will likely be struck by the quiet power of his meditative violin and his haunting voice, which are often employed in unison. He is a master performer, but not a bombastic showman. The mastery lies in his ability to pull the audience into his dream world through an atmosphere of feedback and echo, and the vulnerable, oratory nature of his voice. These elements are often looped a few times over, creating a textured sound space. “Black Rabbit”, the track posted below from his split 7″ with Whitman, is an excellent representation of the ambiance of his live sets. It builds from a murmur and a whisper, to a rich storm of electrified tones and schizophrenic chatter, slowly fading back into a more subdued state. Buchla might not be placeable in the musical trends adopted by his peers, but the emotional impact of his music places him in the non-temporal tradition of folkloric singers and song writers.
Words: Samantha Cornwell
Ezra Buchla, “Black Rabbit:
The Ezra Buchla/Whitman split is available now from Folktale records