James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game (4 stars)

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James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game

A supernatural 12-string axe-slinger, James Blackshaw’s extraordinary muse educes Philip Glass, John Fahey and Peter Walker: he is awesome.

The Glass Bead Game, Blackshaw’s first album for Young God, (home to Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family), brilliantly exhibits the young Londoner’s enthralling guitar narratives and melodic intuition.

While his aural bedrock resonates with the legacies of 60s folk/raga melting pot Takoma, (Robbie Basho et al), The Glass Bead Game sees Blackshaw divert his sublime and dizzying mantras via vocal alchemy (‘Cross’), and piano incantations (‘Arc’).

In short: go seek The Glass Bead Game. It will take your breath away.

(Young God)

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