Robert Stillman What Does It Mean To Be American? Kit Records LP Vinyl

Robert Stillman

What Does It Mean To Be American?

‘What Does it Mean to Be American?’ is the eighth solo album by Maine-born, UK-based composer & multi-instrumentalist Robert Stillman. Performed, recorded & mixed by Stillman with a Prince-like versatility, the album takes in elements of jazz, drone, funk, blues, psychedelia, new age & chamber music across its seven tracks. As with much of Robert’s music, unexpected swerves and gear shifts are never far away; this is partly due to his improv-driven tape bricolage recording process, but also a wilful defiance to adhere to any particular genre. This fluid, unpredictable approach dovetails perfectly with the subject matter of Stillman’s national identity crisis. Nothing is quite as it seems, as oddly rousing militaristic psychedelia, morning reveilles and mountain blues are dismantled in the melting pot. Perhaps most remarkable is the size of Robert’s sound on ‘American?’ – a one-man studio has no right to conjure scenes so raucous and convivial. And it’s at these half-dreamt fraternal moments, where Stillman seems to touch directly at the tragic, optimistic heart of his question.