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The latest installment of McBride's surprising move from prolific Fulham goal poacher to ambient pioneer extra-ordinaire is this stunning soundtrack to the documentary "Vanishing of the Bees". I joke of course, this Brian McBride has long been known as one half of consistently appealing minimalist beauty-drone merchants Stars of the Lid. There really is no discernible difference between this and the noise made by his parent band. It's extremely slow burning, quietly unfurling orchestral drone pieces of such beauty I feel like weeping on the spot. I can almost smell the church where I last saw Stars of the Lid wow a stunned audience in Leeds a couple of years back. The instruments swell in the most incredible way, whether they be trumpet drones, violin or elegiac piano. Superb minimalist chamber music throughout, and heartily recommended to fans of Stars of the Lid, Pan American, La Bradford, Celer, Thomas Koner, William Basinski. And to top it all off this is a soundtrack to a film about the vanishing of the bees - bees are the most wonderful creatures and basically - without them we are fucked.
9/10 Joe Upson Customer review, 2nd July 2016
This CD is bloody lovely! in fact it's so bloody lovely that it makes me want to write a review and tell everyone how bloody lovely it is. It's so flippin' gorgeous! in fact it's so flipping gorgeous that it makes me want to write a review and tell people how flippin' gorgeous it is, so I will, and moreover here is that review.
I need to start by saying that I love Stars Of The Lid and just about everything ambient related to them i.e. The Dead Texan A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Sleepingdog and of course Brian Mcbride's solo efforts, this being his 2nd solo work and "When The Detail Lost It's Freedom" being the 1st (also flippin' gorgeous, and bloody lovely too!).
There is the generic term "ambient music" which covers a lot of artists and I mean a heck of a lot, some is good (BVDUB, Hakobune, Brian Grainger) some is very good (Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Loscil, Celer) and some is masterful and filled with stunning beauty, Stars Of The Lid fall into the last category, and I find it hard to think of any artist that comes close to their brilliance in this particular field.
So Brian McBride being one half of the wonderful SOTL was bound to come up with some beautiful music and this he has certainly done, this album is warm and filled with calming drones, not a boring moment is to be found as Brian keeps the music interesting and feeds your mind and soul with exactly what you need and expect from a SOTL member, he knows his audience well and gives them what they want, there is a lot of beauty, atmosphere and style here and anyone who even remotely thinks that SOTL are any good will find lots to enjoy.
If you don't like Stars Of The Lid then something is clearly wrong with you, you need special help and going to see SOTL live would no doubt sort you out and turn you into a believer, besides if you don't like them why are you reading my review? I politely suggest that you waste no more of your time and stop reading now.
For anyone interested SOTL are touring the U.K. in October 2016 with (wait for it) new material, the first since the incredible "And Their Refinement Of The Decline", good news indeed!
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- The Effective Disconnect (Music Composed for Vanishing of the Bees) by Brian McBride
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