Derek Monypeny “Unjust Intonation”

The desert is forever. Unjust Intonation, part of Trouble in Mind’s stellar Explorer tape series, expands on a few ideas from Monypeny’s fantastic The Hand is Dealt. Across two expansive sides, Monypeny utilizes a time-stretch technique, feeding ringing guitar drones through a processing matrix toward starlit skies where galaxies of dust await.

On the A-Side, Monypeny opens things up on “Unjust Intonation Part One” with crystalline shimmer gently billowing like torn fabric in the wind until pushing into second gear with “Part Two.” The glass-eyed serenity gives way to granular canyon shade that’s still cooked from the high noon sun. There’s beauty under riding everything, but the surface is desolate and full of decay as Monypeny’s guitar breaks apart in slow motion. I don’t want to look away.

Flipping it over and the wilderness takes control. “Part Three” has a hollow core, metallic tones bouncing against a smooth surface, reverberating to infinity. Angular sonics shift like distant dust devils hibernating for a season before roaring back, thicker than ever and covered in a silken grey shroud. Monypeny’s explorations get so mired in detritus and grime that these pieces become living organisms. 

When the last call hits, “Part Four” is ready for the eclipse to return and cover the land in mystery. These drones are enchanting, beacons of light outside the hazy plains. Each elastic note tries to pierce the thick layer of clouds, desperate not to miss another celestial event flashing across the skies. Derek Monypeny continues his incredible year, dragging the bones of last year’s kill back into the ground as Unjust Intonation rises.


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