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Erik Friedlander: Block Ice & Propane

Erik Friedlander is a cellist, and an unconventional one: nine of the 13 tracks on Block Ice & Propane feature him playing pizzicato, sounding less like cello than like low-end folk guitar.

Everything else about the disc is folksy, too, from the songs themselves to the concept, a travelogue of Friedlander’s childhood vacations in a rickety camper with his family. But little about Block Ice & Propane evokes a road trip. The pieces are stark even for solo performances (though Friedlander sometimes accompanies himself by creating Dobro-like drones with tuning forks), and even the up-tempos (“King Rig”) and buzzing dissonances (“A Thousand Unpieced Suns”) create an eerie, lonesome effect.

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