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- The Edge Blown Aerophone by Littlebow
9/10 Brian Staff review, 23 June 2011
Well, what have we here? A deliciously spun collaboration between Katie English and Keiron Phelan that elevates the old flute back up to fairly respectable levels not seen since the Sixties. It's by no means always pushed to the forefront but its easily dismissed jauntiness doesn't, on this occasion, evoke mental images of barefoot smelly hippies in twatty hats or prog's most vomitous excesses. Instead it is used divinely in conjunction with its heftier cousin, the bass flute, to embellish some truly organic, intoxicating twinkly post-folk and sleepy chamber rock movements. You know the score with this label by now. Nothing but the most elegant and sumptuous arrangements and warm, evocative instrumentation is used to create the music. I'm especially taken with 'Oarsmen's Lament' which features a beautiful spiralling organ and loose tumbling drums to astonishing effect! There's nostalgic hazy pagan-flecked folk such as the utterly charming 'Girl With Orange Umbrella' and even a wistful cinematic Sixties feel to the subsequent track - the drums reminding me of a less eerie and possessed Broadcast. I've got to say on first listen that this is probably one of my favourite releases on the label along with the lovely Brave Timbers and Klima CDs. There's not a remotely dull moment here, the passionate segueing of tender, understated evocation and occasionally rockier tropes (showcased on the remarkable 'For This') results in a hugely engaging, involving listen that you will not want to reach the finale of. No generic post-rock dullardry or over-baked retro moods here. Most fresh and invigorating. There's a bonus 3" CD in a likkle red envelope like with the Brave Timbers CD. That absolutely flew off the shelves in hours. Don't be a daftie, get armed with Littlebow this minute!
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