This time the reviews go from the brilliant new album from Tim Hecker to the utter Goth of A Cloud Of Ravens, the homage to Girl Groups of Shangri-Lass and the mushroom trip from The Flowers Of Hell. Have a listen and read what we think then let us know what you don’t agree with.
This is beautiful. To my ear it’s the best thing he’s produced so far. It is a sculpture of sound waves. It glistens and shimmers, it’s like water falling through a canopy of pine needles onto a dry, brown forest floor. It’s nourishing and refreshing, like standing in the rain on top of a tower block. There’s no surprises, no jumps around, it flows, it moves forwards at whatever rate Hecker decides for that moment. The sounds differ but together they are utterly coherent and right.
This is the kind of record you put on with the lights out and drift into, the kind of music that compliments both a gloriously sunny morning and a grey, cold rainstorm at the back end of the year. It’s aloof from everything else I’ve listened to because it’s so alive and fresh.
As I said at the start, it’s just beautiful. Very highly recommended by Fighting Boredom.
A Cloud Of Ravens
I like Goth, I like the overblown melodies, the deep dark drum patterns, the spiralling guitars and the sweeping purple synths, if you love Goth too you will know what purple synths are. The strained emotional deep vocals and the humour of the whole thing.
A Cloud Of Ravens are Goth, they may say they’re not, I have no idea, but to me this is a gloriously Goth record that takes me way into the black void and beyond.
It’s got the lot, the low low bass lines, the staggered synth stabs and pounding overstated drums. It’s fantastically overstated and dramatic and they haven’t disappointed even with he name of the band either.
This is a great record, it’s Goth, did I mention that? I feel it’s important.
Over and Over EP
Redundant Span Records
I’m a sucker for the girl bands of the sixties, there’s something about the sound that is both as hard as nails and totally vulnerable at the same time. This record from Rose Love captures that feeling as well as I’ve ever heard it. You get four tracks and they are all drenched in the cool groove of classic girl groups, yearning and aloof. They are led by luscious synth lines and cool drum patterns but nothing detracts from the voice.
Rose sings like the world depends on it.
The grooves are drop dead cool. Parallel a smooth drive across town at night, mascara running down your cheeks as you lose again. Fathers Daughter a glam drenched stomp with Rose channelling a dollop of Debbie Harry cool. Dragonfly is more restrained and feels like waking up in the morning light wondering. Scandal is almost orchestral in it’s start then gloriously slams into a fuzzy nasty guitar and everything goes angular and hard edged. The croaking second vocal, the driving drums and bass, it’s wonderful.
Shangri-Lass has delivered one of the best EPs of the year so far.
The Flowers Of Hell
Foray Through Keshakhtaran
Space Age Recordings
This is described as a ‘42-minute instrumental psilocybin meditation piece in two parts’ which is pretty damn apt. A handful of mushrooms picked as the dawn is about to begin and then sitting on the dew soaked grass watching the sun rise at the same time as you come up. It’s fantastic, although I guess not for everyone. The sound arrives and moves light spilling across a room, it’s a long messy soundscape and nowadays I can only imagine what an experience this would be in the mind state it was written for.
It’s more jazz than psychedelia, it’s got sax, flugel horn, chimes, harp, sitar and opera soprano vocals, alongside tremolos, flutters, horns, woodwinds, strings and percussion.
It’s quite something. Quite a trip indeed.
All words by Adrian Bloxham.