Donkey No No - Dream Away Lodge

LP Edition of 106. Numbered.


Unless I am very confused, this is the “trade” reissue of what was formerly a lacquer-only LP released in an edition of five, recorded live at the Dream Away Lodge. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Donkey No No is a trio with guitarist Omeed Goodarzi, violin/electronics goddess Jen Gelineau, and cymbal bower Edward “Ted” Lee. Some would also count the metal donkey they carry around with them as a “member,” but I will not stoop to such levels.

The trio is bent on an improv-only approach to playing, and their previous cassettes have been about as cautiously wrought as junk pile. This new album, however, possesses a real sense of instant composition, meaning the music aligns in ways that don’t sound purely chance-based. Omeed’s guitar is a fine engine of rural-völk dreamtime, and the bowed accompaniment just seems to weave around it like a very fine spider web of sound.

Perhaps the setting of the Dream Away — a legendary utopia for woodsy bacchanals (see Rolling Thunder Review for details) — somehow grounds the three improvisors. Dunno, why or how, but the sonic effect is delightful and fully capable of floating blimp-like over every head that encounters it. Long may they rise.  -Byron Coley, 2016