Tom Carter & Robert Horton: Monsters of Felt
Robert Horton’s musical exploits are diverse, heady and spans over three decades. From his early punk days to joining various groups in pursuit of free jazz, drone and even psychedelic hillbilly, Horton is happily hard to pin down. He also makes his own instruments. One found regularly across the 30-plus releases he’s been involved with since 2005 is the ‘boot’, a four-stringed instrument that plays like an otherworldly dobro or slide guitar.
Tom Carter has been a lightning rod-like figure for the American psychedelic, folk and experimental underground scenes since forming one of the country’s central cosmic travellers in Charalambides. Over the past 5 years Carter has spread his wings into solo work and collaborations with the likes of Bardo Pond, Tower Recordings and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. However, it’s the pairing with Robert Horton that emerges most frequently in his busy schedule, as they continue to foster their pairing into a singular kind of chemistry.
Their most developed work thus far, Monsters of Felt hits a mesmerising zone both urgent and lulling at once. The radiating undertow of Horton’s sonic manipulations – including sound sources from cassettes, field recordings, computer, bass and the ‘boot’ – accompanies Carter’s re-routing of American guitar traditions into mantras of trance and white light. The set also features appearances from kindred spirits and free-folk favourites Brad and Eden Rose, along with Eastern instrument journeymen Henry Kuntz and Michael Shannon. It all adds up to Monsters of Felt being yet another exciting and compelling step for two most intrepid musicians.