Local Wire

Castanets

The term "indie rock" is as vague as the term "rock" these days; thankfully, there are still people out there making music that can't be defined, no matter how many adjectives or hyphens scribes throw into the description. Take Asthmatic Kitty Records artist Raymond Raposa (the sole member of Castanets), for example. His music is probably most aptly dubbed "freak folk" but can be just as obtusely rendered with phrases like "gothic country," "avant-something," and "psyche-something" (all tags used in Asthmatic Kitty's bio on Castanets). But semantics don't really speak to the soundscapes. You really have to hear those for yourself. Castanets keeps it low-key, for the most part, with occasional, jarring interjections like the discordant clanging that barges into the last minute of the psychedelic dirge "You Are the Blood." But whether Castanets is jamming on some banjo and subtle hand claps, as in the song "Good Friend Yr Hunger," or providing what sounds like the soundtrack to a space exploration sequence in some obscure art-house film ("Strong Animal"), the innovation only adds to the intrigue. It's mildly experimental but entirely listenable.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea