Sian Alice Group– a collective of UK musicians Sian Ahern, Rupert Clervaux and Ben Crook, amongst other collaborators have, in the past couple of years been insanely productive, from the epic 59.59 and The Dusk Line (a subdued piano and vocals only EP) to the wholeheartedly experimental
Remix 12’’, the band made the scene, built up a stellar following and positioned itself as a contender to be reckoned with. Now, in 2009 Sian Alice Group is back with their second album of lush, minimalist, panoramic torch songs, Troubled, Shaken Etc. The band hones in on a genre-busting combination of organic improvisation, process-driven experimentation and the focused strength earned from a year of extensive travelling and touring the world together. You get your minimalist trances, electronic exploration, techno thump, jazz motifs and Eastern music tropes in a joyous and complete listening experience. It’s a snapshot from an eventful 2008 that is rawer, more emotional and louder than anything they’ve released thus far. First track, Love That Moves The Sun is a bouncy realization of minimalism set to the cosmos. Arpeggios (on both guitar and vibraphone) set a repetitive tone and Sian Ahern’s powerful vocals resemble the sort of expansive clouds we learned about in a 7th grade science class. Close To The Ground begins with a Terry Riley meets Theo Parrish figure that slowly morphs into stomp-rock territory with organic four-to-the-floor rhythmic intensity. Vanishing provides a unique take on techno. Rupert Clervaux’s drums are like a wild Elvin Jones who lived through the rave era, and the vocals provide angelic whole tones over the unhinged bounce. White is a surprise. makes us want to take naps on a grassy bank and dream of the heartbreak awaiting us. Simply put the guitar interplay on this track is totally breathtaking. It’s automatic mixtape fodder. Troubled, Shaken, Etc.reveals an extremely hardworking band that is focused on process, craft and how their interpersonal relationships can serve as a catalyst to document life in an honest, original and innovative manner. The band (led on these technical issues by Clervaux) masterfully handles the production, and we can’t emphasize enough just how strong Sian Ahern’s vocals have come through. With guest spots from live mainstays - Sasha Vine, Eben Bull and labelmate Mike Bones, as well as John Coxon (Spring Heel Jack) and Graham Barton, Troubled, Shaken Etc. is a vastly diverse record with many collaborative hands on deck. VINYL IS SUPER DELUXE and on THE SOCIAL REGISTRY
PRESS: “Sian Alice Group chart transformations from psychedelic rock, pastoral folk, and piano-lounge balladry into analog-synthtronica, free-jazz breakdowns, pounding Afro-tech grooves, and avant-classical composition. The beauty of Sian Alice Group is that the band is capable of creating highly effective music even when they stray far from traditional torch-song territory.” - Pitchfork “Some artists walk a fine line between the abstract
and the arranged, creating a sense of spontaneity without being overly rehearsed. Sian Alice Group accomplishes just this. What’s more, it does so while simultaneously recalling great artists but sounding completely unique.” – Filter
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