Review: Joe Frawley – Left Cincinatti

With a clever use of voice samples and piano melodies, Joe Frawley’s music is often beautifully evocative. Frawley himself calls these pieces short stories but it’s really up to the listener to interpret what tales are being told. ‘Left Cincinatti’ is based on the memories and dreams of an identity-shifting female.

‘Left Cincinatti’ uses a repeated refrain from a girl who “didn’t like high school” but the surrounding shimmer of noise drifting in and out of the speakers suggests all kinds of bad things happened to this young lady. ‘Secretary In Slowmo’ cuts up phone tones and white noise. On ‘Vanishing Point’ there’s an impression of a woman being suffocated, not necessarily in the literal sense but trapped in a cycle of life; the morbid piano melody only adding to the chilly, austere air. ‘The Girl On The Quay’ contains mutterings of the “birds and the bees down by the sea” set to strings and seagull cries whilst at other times women giggle and sigh for reasons unknown.

The messages in ‘Left Cincinatti’ are all too vague to truly know what’s going on but they’re undeniably hypnotic. Moreover, Frawley’s compositions have steadily taken on an increasingly darker hue and you wonder how far he will go next time around.

Web Sites:
Joe Frawley Official Site
Joe Frawley MySpace

Further Listening:
Out Of Process, Harold Budd

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