When future historians of 21st-century freak folk try to pinpoint the movement's Holy Grail, they may settle on August Born's self-titled debut. The trans-Pacific project arose out of Comets on Fire guitarist and Six Organs of Admittance leader Ben Chasny's admiration for Holy Letters, a 1992 album by guitarist and drummer Hiroyuki Usui (aka L). Chasny was drawn to Holy Letters' ultrasparse, mystical blues, which epitomizes a stoic brand of Japanese bliss. August Born, then, came together through CD-Rs sent back and forth between the two axemen. From these humble elements emerges a collection of deeply moving mystical blues and sacred folk hymns, weaving a tapestry out of gongs, bells, acoustic and electric guitars, tamboura, conga, autoharp, recorders, birdsong, and their own devotional voices. The duo plays with an elegance and delicacy that suggest rituals more than jam sessions, resulting in a pinnacle of sonic feng shui.
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