Published May 11, 2020Aside from his work with the instrumental trio Dirty Three, Jim White is one of indie rock's great go-to drummers, working with artists like Cat Power, PJ Harvey, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. On The Quickening, his first collaborative album with Portland experimental folk artist Marisa Anderson, White is given the space and ability to stretch his rhythms out to craft a wholly improvisational album.
Over 10 tracks, the duo give themselves just a scant 38 minutes to weave rapid-fire drum fills and bent classical electric guitar pickings, showing just how expertly they can navigate around each other's sounds. On tracks like "The Other Christmas Song" and "Last Days" Anderson summons Sterling Morrison's strained guitar sound, while White melds drum textures on "The Quickening" and "Pallet."
Although Jim White and Marisa Anderson never seem to give themselves enough time or space to truly stretch out, The Quickening nonetheless captures two masters at their most free. (Thrill Jockey)