TRACK: Lama Lobsang Palden and Jim Becker – ‘Blessings’: where acoustic postrock meets Tibetan chant



2020, eh? As it wearies on, the need for music, the need for the good things, for stillness, to find our own thread to follow through it all, becomes ever more necessary.

An album, then, as much 2020 as it perhaps 1968 is the forthcoming album on Drag City from Lama Lobsang Palden and Jim Becker, Compassion, which will be hitting the shelves on October 9th.

It’s a curious record; but over here at Backseat Mafia we adore such leftfield records. Lama Lobsang Palden is a Tibetan Buddhist yoga master, who also practises sound healing. He studied in the monasteries of eastern Tibet from a young age; he’s currently based in Palos Park, Illinois.

Jim Becker will probably be a more familiar name, at least to people who like a certain intricate Americana where it veers towards postrock; he’s a member of the wonderful Califone, Iron &Wine and also, at points, has been a member of the great collaborative project The Boxhead Ensemble, in which he’s served alongside Jim O’Rourke, Jim White, Edith Frost, Mick Turner et al.

Put the two together and you get a contemplative, far-reaching kind of hippyish post-rock, if you will; listen to the track “Blessings”, which we’ve embedded below, on which Lobsang leads forth with meditative chant, and Jim accompanies with dusty, precise fingerpicking and arpeggiating, with that acuity and ear he has in his parent band. If your ears are jaded, it’s a becoming splicing of forms.

Drag City say: “Music is a healing force in our universe and the forthcoming album from Lama Lobsang Palden and Jim Becker is just that.”

Lama Lobsang Palden and Jim Becker’s Compassion will be released by Drag City on October 9th on digital, CD and vinyl formats; you can order direct from Drag City, here, or from Bandcamp.

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