There Is Only Love and Fear


British percussionist Bex Burch utilizes xylophone, homemade instruments, and gyil, the marimba-like tuned percussion instrument she happened upon while studying music in Ghana, to create a music that feels steadfast, centered, and hand-sewn. Her musical travels now blow her Chicago-ward on There is only love and fear, her debut for International Anthem. She draws on that city’s scene for collaborators, most notably cornetist Ben LaMar Gay and Natural Information Society percussionist Mikel Patrick Avery. Calling her style of music “messy minimalism,” the beguiling miniatures here evoking the steady pulses of Reich and the like, but with a sense of childlike wonder that wobbles just outside the lines. But Burch and band can also combust into a joyous roar on “You thought you were free?” and “If I was you I’d be doing exactly the same.”

Andy Beta