L.E.S. Douze, The Stoned (Nouveau Electric Records)

In the beginning of the summer of 2016, Louis Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers and Michot’s Melody Makers had a residency at one of the centers of forward thinking and avant-garde music, the Stone on the Lower East Side of New York City. Michot played many different types of music with different aggregations during this residency, and this one by L.E.S. Douze marks the first release of these performances (Michot plans to release the others also). The record consists of one song lasting 44 minutes that makes its way through various permutations. There are aspects of Cajun music and Irish music, but stretched out and contorted into different sonic shapes. Drones bubble up and settle down over and under fiddles, tin whistles, T-fers and guitars. At times the notes sound like they are turning themselves inside out. It is druggy music, but from back when such music was positive and psychedelic and designed to take your mind places to open it up and gain new perspectives. Sometimes it sounds like Dark Side of the Cajun Moon or In a Silent Cajun Way. Fans of ambient or industrial music might find some common ground with this record. Experimental music like this can sometimes bore the audience, but that never happens here. There is always a forward motion even if it is like fiddling through molasses. When the group sample what sounds like TV quotes or radio shows, it seems to open a window or looking glass to another world, maybe like ours and maybe different in minor or major ways. In our attention-deficit-hypnotized-by-devices world, this is musical art that goes on its own journey at its own pace. This is not casual listening, but it is rewarding listening.