Double LP £19.99 HAFTW001
Black vinyl repress 2LP on History Always Favours The Winners. Edition of 400 copies.
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- When We Parted My Heart Wanted To Die by Leyland Kirby
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After watching that episode of Tomorrows World as a kid I was sure that by the year 2000 we would all be flying around on jet-packs but "Sadly The Future Is No Longer What It Was". And That is the title of a stunning double vinyl album trilogy from one James Leyland Kirby, probably better Known as VV/m, The Caretaker, The Stranger, Notorious P.I.G, Billy Ray Cyrix and a ton of other weird and wonderful pseudonyms. However this time around he has dropped the alias' and is letting the world see the true man behind the mask. For this series of releases he's really laid his soul bare.
Released on Kirby's new label History Always Favors The Winners he's used breathtaking artwork by Ivan Seal and had the vinyl cut at the acclaimed D&M in Berlin so this really is a high quality package.
This last year the artists profile has really increased due to the success of The Caretaker's 'Persistent Repetition Of Phrases' album and if this series is anything to go by his work will continue to be hugely appreciated long into the future, for this is a true labour of love. An album of blood, sweat and tears.
Over many years he's amassed an enormous catalogue that includes uploading new material online each day for all 365 days of a year as well as a 6CD set. A busy chap to say the least!
The first installment is 'When We Parted My Heart Wanted To Die' and it sure is a tale of heartbreak from the offset with the opening track which is a real tear jerker with its deeply moving piano, strings and distant washes of ghostly ambient. It's pure class that recalls Angelo Badalamenti's work. Lurking within the sadness is a sense of hope, at least that's what I get from it. It's one hell of an emotional ride before we're at 'The Sound Of Music Vanishing' that literally sounds like a track being sucked into a gateway into an other world. Complete with static crackle it's a little reminiscent of some of William Basinski and Phillip Jeck's stuff although this really is out there on its own. It even evokes images from several David Lynch films, the dark recess type scenes that veer on the nightmarish.
'The Beauty Of The Impending Tragedy Of My Existence' goes even further into the journey inwards, seething with emotion it feels somewhat unsettling with shades of dark ambient and modern classical. Some of the sounds remind me of those on the shockingly overlooked "Bleaklow' disc that was released by The Stranger.
'And As I Sat Beside You I Felt The Sadness That Day' has the mood of The Caretaker material evoking distant memories of troubled times. This one really pulls at the heartstrings and I dare say a tear or two will be shed across the globe when this genuine epic hits some ears.
The production throughout has a magical timeless quality to it, it feels like some reel to reel tapes had been buried in a time capsule, then have been discovered and subsequently aged ever so slightly to give the sound a warmth through the decay that adds to the feel rather than a deterioration in sound quality.
'Tonight Is The Last Night Of The World' feels like just that, as you gather your thoughts about your life, the places you've been, the things you have seen and the people that you had met.
The album closes with the huge twenty minute 'The Place Between The Twilight And The Dawn' which has the piano re-introduced into the mix over some brooding, ethereal, spooked out sounds. It wouldn't be unreasonable to drop names like Eric Satie and Harold Budd at this point.
I reckon this is gonna shock a lot of people that may have thought that old VV/m never had it in him to create anything as profoundly soul stirring as this. It certainly knocked me for six. A Beautifully articulated introspective record that feels very honest and pure. I'd say this is destined to become a future classic.
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