Keith Freund: Constant Comments

Constant Comments is an utterly charming solo outing from Keith Freund, who otherwise plays and records with his wife in the Akron, Ohio-based outfit Trouble Books. Gentle and bucolic in nature, the album finds Freund weaving multiple layers of chiming electric guitar playing into twelve fluid, pastoral settings of typically concise length.

Everyday sounds—cars honking and trains clattering, children laughing and playing, birds chirping, voices speaking, dogs barking—surface throughout the album, grounding its pieces with a real-world sense of time and place (an effect established immediately when “Mont Boron” introduces the album with outdoors field recordings of children playing). Freund adopts somewhat the role of observer, with his guitar meanderings (augmented in places by keyboard textures) acting as a running commentary or bemused presence in response to the prosaic life events happening around him. Representative of the album's laid-back style, “Horses on Air” casts an early morning, summery spell with crystalline guitar picking wrapped in a dense blanket of tape hiss. Sometimes Freund gives the stage completely to the field recording, as he does at the end of “Deep Shit Sunburn” when crashing waves are the only sounds heard, and the exception to Freund's rule of concision is “The Ortzi,” an eight-minute laconic meditation that underlays Freund's melodic guitar figures, keyboard swells, and a foreign-speaking voice with a pedal point drone

Fittingly for such a low-key and intimate project, Freund recorded the material using electric guitar and elka rhapsody onto lo-fi casette tape between 2007 and 2010, and Experimedia has made the recording available in a twelve-inch vinyl format in a pressing of 300 copies, with 100 of them in green vinyl.

September 2011