Inside / Outside is the duo of Santa Rosa, California based musicians Russell Leach and Don Campau, who play a variety of instruments and electronics. Leach is new to me but Campau is a veteran of the homemade music underground and host of the long lived No Pigeonholes radio show, which celebrates homemade and truly independent music.
Three Jewels is the fourth Inside / Outside album and consists of an 8 part, 28 minute suite that is intended to be heard as a single piece. It opens with atmospherically cavernous drum beats, wood blocks, and scratch rhythms, soon transitioning to a light melody, effects, soundscapes and urban environment field recordings blend. The scenes shift quickly but seamlessly, gently spiriting the listener through an ever changing dreamscape. As of Part 2, we enter a beautiful ambient world music realm, with light percussion, pleasant effects, melodic acoustic guitar and spacey electronics, and from there the music becomes increasing ambient-psychedelic, though it’s all quietly understated, being dreamily meditative in a strangely yet engagingly sound experimental way. The spacey world music feel is never far away, and one of my favorite parts is when we’re treated to flowing chant vocals from Robin O’Brien. I also dig the psychedelically efx’d Japanese Koto oozing through a black hole segment, which bleeds into the cool grooving space rock world music finale.
In summary, I enjoyed Leach and Campau’s brand of space-ambient, sound-exploratory world music, though don’t get hung up on the “world music” description, as it’s often as much a sensation as it is overtly noticeable as such. This is different.
For more information visit the Lonely Whistle Music web site at: http://lonelywhistle.doncampau.com
For all things Don Campau visit: http://doncampau.com
And I encourage everyone to visit Don’s Living Archive of Underground Music web site, which documents the “Cassette Culture” underground music movement: http://www.livingarchive.doncampau.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz