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Pelt, 'Diglossia'

Diglossia is a split dialect in a single community — code-switching between high and low language. The decades-spanning Pelt has always been instrumental, yet in its pursuit of cosmic ecstasy through various folk music forms, achieves a musical diglossia. (Pelt's members also make up the like-minded Black Twig Pickers and Spiral Joy Band.) The 21-minute opening track from Reticence / Resistance, Pelt's first album in nine years since the Jack Rose tribute Effigy, seeks enlightenment through Patrick Best's hypnotically frenzied piano, Mikel Dimmick's droning harmonium and Nathan Bowles' bowed banjo and delicately ornate percussion (heard mostly at the track's denouement). Mike Gangloff's plunging fiddle is the buoy bobbing in and out of these choppy waters, like hillbilly drone maestro Henry Flynt jamming to a transcendent Alice Coltrane improvisation. It's a thrilling piece of music that stays in one place, yet brightens every corner.

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