Mute Duo - Lapse In Passage LPAmerican Dreams Records
Put a clean pedal steel guitar on any recording and the final result is going to sound at least a little country. Chicago’s Mute Duo is comprised of Sam Wagster on the pedal steel guitar (Cairo Gang, Anatomy of Habit) and Skyler Rowe on drums and percussion (Rash, Anatomy of Habit) who occasionally add other instruments as supportive layers, drawing from influences like late-era Talk Talk, The Dirty Three, and the instrumental soundtrack tradition, landing somewhere in between ambient country and free jazz. Their sophomore LP Lapse in Passage shows the duo excavating new territory - while their debut album landed them an opening slot on Ryley Walker’s December 2018 tour, the second is a step up in instrumentation, layering, and production. Beginning with the tightly-constructed, cinematic opener “Derived from Retinas,” Mute Duo make it clear their twang-encrusted soundscapes are as structured as they are sublime.