on Wednesday, 18 February 2009

on Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Long Lost - The Long Lost (Ninja Tune)

Husband and wife duo's are normally a winner in my eyes, mates of state being the most immediate example to come to mind, two people in love making great music together, who could want anything more? or maybe more bizarrely the ever wonderful divorcees that form Quasi. Here though we have a fairytale set up, high school sweethearts, Laura & Alfred Darlington, better known as Daedelus, team up to deliver some bittersweet and melancholy pop.

The voices meld together quite beautifully, similar to Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, his deep, hers high and sweet, recalling names such as Vashti Bunyan, Trish Keenan of Broadcast and perhaps most accuratley Kerry Shaw of late nineties band Whistler. Each song a delicate pop number given the appropriate twist that you'd expect with Daedelus at the controls yet never over doing it. Happy to throw in the occasional sample, electronic beats and some great vocals but never taking over. Particularly fine is third song, Sibilance, repetitive and lullaby like for the first minute before the marching drums and toy piano join in, leaving it for another minute before exploding into full glory and finally the icing on the cake as Alfred joins in with a glorious counter melody of she sells sea shells on the sea shore gently sending you into dream land, you can only wonder if this is how they send their children to sleep at night, magical and perfectly executed.

Overmuch has an icy melancholy about it with its repeating line "The curse of perfect vision" so elegantly delivered. Ballroom Dance Club starts off like a scene from one of those Saturday Afternoons sixties film before kicking into another great track. Cat Fancy is lovely too, the sampled lady sounding like the mother from Requiem For A Dream. Domestics a near perfect call & response him/her duet with an upbeat catchy feel, like Beck collaborating with Vashti Bunyan, a delightful disc to help us through these cold months.

on Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Automobile, Swift - Enemy, Enemy

Another day and so it would seem another great net release. I read with eager anticipation the press release to the ridiculously prolific Machinefabriek that his new release(one of them anyway) IJspret that claimes "Rutger Zuydervelt turns his ear towards that most fertile of creative themes for the microsound artist: winter. Ijspret was inspired by the timbral properties of ice, and features contact microphone recordings of all manner of frosty textures and interactions with the frozen ground, from the noise made by ice skaters to the strange commotion of the defrosting process." i expected extreme beauty and the sound of winter to be caught graciously, i was disappointed as i tend to be by his releases, apart from the lovely Drawn.
Automobile, Swift on the other hand capture the sound of winter, the crispy crunch of frozen snow that paves the streets of England right now, so well and without trying. Slow Ocean is all crackles and crunching set to whirring swells of drone and distant seagull calls. The rest of the five track EP is of a similarly high quality and far more worthy of your attention than any of the seven new releases that Rutger Zuydervalt is likely to release this week.

on Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Chazz Knapp - Vie comme un Parasite Faisant la fête (Phantom Channel)
I remember being completely blown away by the first Our Brother the Native album, bought simply because it was on FatCat, a strange mix of Cocorosie and Four Tet folkish tapestries. Here on his solo album, Chaz Knapps musical genius shines through strongly once again, maybe not as original but stunningly beautiful. Steeped in classical roots the five songs, for the majority of the time minimal piano based tracks, are melancholy and as beautiful as the piano can be when placed under the right set of fingers. Dreamy walks through secret gardens, the impatient anticipation of a reunital with a loved one mixed with the gleeful reminiscence of past memories.

At times similiar in sound to Becky Foons Fifths of Seven project at their very best, in Chaz Knapp there has been found a healthy dose of musical genius and you'd be a fool if you weren't to take a spoonful.

Chazz Knapp - Vie comme un Parasite Faisant la fête zip

On a similiar note we find the fatcat label on fine form as always, kindly delivering the compilation Floored Memory...Fading Location, the names will be familiar and if they are not I would seriously recommend checking them out, especially if you like the above album, names like Max Richter, Hauschka and Sylvain Chaveau should become firm favourites of yours, each giving three tracks here (max gives four) alongside two new(?) tracks from Set Fire to Flames, try Chazz Knapp first, then check these out.