Our album of the week (9th October 2009)
Piano Magic's 10th official album is indisputably the one to catapult them out of the "cult" status they've endured (and enjoyed) since their formation in 1996.Recorded through May to August this year by Gareth Parton (The Go-Team, The Breeders, Pete & The Pirates), at his petite La Planque studio and The Fortress in London, 'Ovations' is clearly the Anglo-French group's most coherent, confident and dynamic record to date. Typically for a Piano Magic record, it's a restless beast; a record that swings wildly between Marrakesh, Eastern Europe, Sevilla and early 80's Manchester without breaking sweat. Piano Magic have always worn their influences on their sleeves and this is no exception. The Chameleons, Joy Division and The Cure intersect with Turkish darabuka, hammered dulcimer, viola, cello, flamenco claps. Elsewhere, there are cold analogue synths, chiming guitars, mournful piano and industrial percussion. Piano Magic's fascination with Eurasian percussion is, in part, much down to one of their biggest influences - the Melbourne-born, though World-wise, 4AD Records-signed group, Dead Can Dance. And it's no small coup that 'Ovations' features not only DCD's supreme percussionist/dulcimer, Peter Ulrich but also the voice of principal songwriter, Brendan Perry on two tracks ("You Never Loved This City" and "The Nightmare Goes On"). The reclusive Perry, himself, a very recent convert to Piano Magic's music was only too happy to sing with a group that by his own admission, were making "the most beautiful music" he's heard for a long time.
'Ovations' showcases Piano Magic at the dizzy heights of their songsmithery - romantic, emotive, dynamic, anthemic. 'Ovations' is released on Make Mine Music is a truly radical independent label, run and owned by the artists themselves. The artists pay for the manufacture and promotion of their own records and correspondingly receive 100% of any income generated. Other artists on the label include July Skies, Epic45 and Portal.The album comes in beautifully designed, plush CD packaging, with a luxurious 8 page lyric booklet.
Tracklisting : 1. the nightmare goes on 2. march of the atheists 3. on edge 4. a fond farewell 5. the blue hour 6. recovery position 7. la cobardía de los toreros 8. you never loved this city 9. the faint horizon 10. exit
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