Celebrate November 14, 2014
Blake Pieces November 8, 2014
EPs feat pic 027 October 27, 2014
Compassion Fatigue October 13, 2014

Stars In Battledress – In Droplet Form (avant-folk)

September 30, 2014

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In Droplet Form

Music needs to be comprehensible; it is, after all, a form of communication. The more readily digestible it is, however, and the more easily it slips down, the fewer hooks there are to hang any unique meanings on it. There is an inherently unstable dialectic between the familiar and the novel, and somewhere around the mid-point of that duality’s oscillations are the sites at which it resonates with its listeners. The strangeness with which Stars In Battledress tend to strike the listener’s ear is not that of complete unfamiliarity; indeed, their music’s harmonies are primarily built

Posted in: Music, Music reviews

Various Artists – Album Roundup

September 25, 2014

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Album Roundup 030

Mark Harrison and his very capable band (whose members include the extremely talented duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker) play a curiously English take on American roots music. Their stylistic materials mine the cracks between country blues and old time country music, continuing a UK tradition that began with skiffle and was nourished by the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and the pop-jug-band sounds of Canned Heat. There’s a sense when listening to American performers in such styles, particularly the older ones, that they are singing from beneath a heavy encrustation of …

Posted in: Music, Music reviews

Arch Garrison – I Will Be A Pilgrim (avant-folk)

September 17, 2014

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I Will Be A Pilgrim

A sense of native place is a sentiment most associated, in music, with folk styles, or with the strong blood-and-soil nationalist current in black metal, for example, and such sounds have sometimes been taken up by those with particularly unpleasant political agendas. Craig Fortnam is here to remind us, through his acoustic Arch Garrison project, that an autochthonous sense of identity, a strong sense of connection to the landscape on which one lives, can be inclusive and nourishing. These songs are informed by an awareness of the difficulties and ambiguities around such ideas …

Posted in: Music, Music reviews
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