Another remarkable record of our times despite being released digitally and on its polar opposite cassette from the Chester based artist boycalledcrow. Some seventeen compositions occupy the space between intrigue and wonder where you start to think just how did he came up with that idea for creating this piece of music. Inspired by Leeham’s Spellbook, who is also the artist in residence for the label, one of the various reasons I love this in particular is that you have no idea what is going to happen next. An excellent proposition in these days of boring, predictable nostalgia and clockwork timescales. I’m not going to bother you with in depth descriptions of each track because they are hard to pin down, let alone put into coherent words, as each lives a life of its own. Again like music should be. A conversation with yourself donated by the mind of sonic inspiration. Thrilling.
Time passed by so quickly I missed reviewing Carl M Knott’s most wonderful fourth album before its release date. Which in reality doesn’t really matter as music of importance should cause the same effect at any given time or date. From the serene impulse of Electric Sky to the twist of Fucked Jazz Melody this once again demonstrates a natural prowess when it comes to pulling together sounds and moods, then engaging with them in deeper ways. I particularity like the blissful escape found in tracks like Oz and Rainbow Silk which all seems to point towards lost and found memory, or maybe that’s just me. Either way the music generates experiences to be realised and cherished across its entirety.
Carl M Knott’s follow-up and third solo outing is both strange and startling. A mystifying journey through an English sense of Folk which at times infuses the album with an organic, lived-in aspect that wants to reference musicians like Richard Thompson, but in reality is as far away from that traditional blend as is possible. Caustic sample cuts of acoustic guitar, voices and general other worldliness denote Mystic Scally’s sincere disregard of convention. At times reflecting melancholy and loss of meaning Oh, The Guilt, or celebrating beauty by Chasing Rainbows, while at others vigorously messing with your mind on Ghost In My Head. Further adventures of braze, uncompromising landscapes of sound from this notable manipulator of imaginary tomorrowsâ€¦.
Release: August 28
This next communication from Wonderful Beasts expands the velocity of meaning as their debut album seeks out fresh pasture. Wonderful Beasts are of course the gathered creative thoughts of boycalledcrow and Xqui. They produce music that combines a diverse range of feelings that sometimes escapes into the beyond, while at others aim straight for the heart. Employing words such as ambience is redundant here as the sounds collate in live, organic ways brushing the airwaves with meaningful expression. Unlike many of their contemporaries each of the pieces explores new avenues with notes and atmospheres not relying on easy options. Occasionally using drum beats such as on the pounding She is The melody Man, then grainy industrial landscapes shape Into the Emerald Eye, contrasting ideas defy expectations and that’s what is most intriguing about it all. There is an experimental element very much at play here just as there are moments of contemplative reassurance escaping the boundaries of other forms of electronic music. But enough words for now. Seek this out and experience the art of the possible.
Release: March 20
As a prelude to their forthcoming album this has appeared. Wonderful Beasts are boycalledcrow and Xqui and are releasing a number of compositions to whet your appetite in anticipation. What’s more they are coming as â€˜a name-your-price dl’. So what’s to like? If mind-expanding textures of evocative sound are what moves you, the answer is plenty. There is a live quality to the music they create and each of the selections are infused with either grainy intensity or a contrasting sense of hope. Let’s put it this way The Spirit Is Near, which completes, captures a world of sound to get lost and found in as the human touch of voice is wrapped around a lone, transient swirl of synthesizer.
Release: February 28