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Jonas Hellborg/Shawn Lane: Zenhouse

Do you want to know how Zen Zenhouse is? Percussionist Jeff “Apt. Q-258” Sipe plays water on the trance-inducing “Departure.” The four droning tracks that comprise the latest from bassist Jonas Hellborg and his partners in the sublime are heavily flavored with Middle Eastern spices. The dusty taste of cumin covers “In the House,” where guitarist Shawn Lane picks repetitious arpeggios and Hellborg heavily plucks his acoustic bass, making his strings buzz in partial approximation of a sitar’s sympathetic overtones. “Outdoors” continues the medina-at-dusk sound, with Hellborg and Lane’s contrapuntal interplay spreading horizontally like the rhizomes of a turmeric plant. “Conclusion” closes the album with a slight dose of curry, but Zenhouse is mostly made of (and possibly for) deliciously delicate herbs.

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