Ned Collette & Wirewalker – 2

January 01, 1970



The mild dissonance and oddly disquieting tones of
multi-tracked lead vocals aren’t for everyone. Guitarist, composer and arranger
Collette sends a modest message by opening 2 with these, on “Il Futuro Fantastico” – this recording will be more than “nice
music.” A few tracks are progressive enough to recall Kevin Ayers or Jonathan
Meiburg, while more traditional fare, such as “Happy Heart,” has the
thatched-roof  warmth of the Incredible
String Band, and, by extension, Robin Williamson’s solo work, as well as some
by a far further under the radar contemporary, Peter Lacey. Collette is at his
most masterful when he shifts gracefully between approaches – from one track to
another, or, most notably, within a single track. He and the other Wirewalkers
(Ben Bourke/bass, Joe Talia/drums) seem of one mind; their exceptionally economical collaboration apparently
sharing a goal of blurring genre lines completely in the service of evocative
expression. Collette’s described 2 as
“a mix of experimental pop songwriting, musique concrete and dark folky


Collette’s delivery, and most of his treatments, are
restrained; almost dry  – other than,
perhaps, in the case of “Long You Lie,” nothing comes across as passionate,
angry, or even excited. The Australian’s brilliance is in the experience he’s
created with such superficial brevity: World-upon-world, opening up with
repeated exposure to this artful recording.


entirety. MARY LEARY

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