"Omaha multi-instrumentalist L. Eugene Methe’s Rake Kash ensemble have become a favorite this winter, thanks to their varied and amiable self-titled LP on his increasingly active Gertrude Tapes imprint. Spending time in the Midwest for work the last several months, the album was a timely introduction to the area and a wildly unexpected nostalgia loop — Gertrude’s compact catalog having some overlap with Gary Beauvais‘ defunct Animal Disguise imprint, on hiatus since 2013 when he let go of the wheel ostensibly to focus on his project Mammal. An “Untitled” EP from Rake Kash was among the last trio of Animal Disguise releases, so the current lineup’s library-tinged psych amble hits with the force of both legacies. Whether it’s the jazzy kosmische of “Stonebreakers” and “Mirren;” the rambling, mournful harmonica and spacey guitar licks of “The Wheat Sifters;” the drunken, transcendental skronk of “New Citizen;” or the revery of closer “New Directions,” the tone throughout is brilliantly cosmic. Saxophone and drone mingle to add a wonderful, smokey haze of noir, though other deft hands all contribute their own light touches. Thematically, the listener is probably left wondering if Methe plans to move farther west. So many of the incidentals here — right up to the cover art adaptation of Gustave Courbet’s 1849 painting The Stonebreakers — conjure American expansion, the drive to the Pacific, even the first railroads laid across the old Nebraska Territory. Whatever the case, it’s good fun." DECODER MAGAZINE.
"Rows of cucurbit psych-rock licks rest on a tilled field of psychedelia, their pale orange bodies swelling with patience and maturity. The season to harvest has arrived, and Nebraskan bedroom-prog outfit Rake Kash is well-prepared for the task, taking to a bumper crop with six-stringed scythe and tape recorder in tow.
Cross-breeding twangy folk tones with the lush riffage of jazz fusion, the agrarian landscapes painted on the project’s new self-titled venture on Gertrude Tapes reach Edenic levels of succulence. Excess dreaminess forms beads of condensation on saxophone tendrils and fronds of surf-y guitar. Sonorous groans of violin drop in waves like the spray of a sprinkler system’s oscillation, tinging much of the record with an eerie sense of isolation that looms beneath the abundance.
A shopping mall muzak’s answer to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Rake Kash’s latest effort cultivates verdant plots of well-ripened major-7th chord ambience." - TINY MIX TAPES
released December 1, 2016
L. Eugene Methe - synthesizers, bass, piano, electric guitar, violin & organ.
Alex Boardman - drums
Kevin Donahue - drums
Brion Poloncic - harmonica
Megan Siebe - cello
Ian Simons - saxophone
Will Simons - clarinet
Edmund Wilson - tambourine
Mixed by Ben Brodin at ARC Studios, Omaha
Mastered by A.F. Jones at Laminal Audio
Front cover drawing by Luigi Falagario
Design and layout by Christopher Payne
Written, arranged and engineered by L. Eugene Methe
(c)(p) Marble Sonnets Music 2016