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- Intrigue & Stuff Volume 2 by Leyland Kirby
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Butter me up, this is a mighty strange disc. After being horribly underwhelmed by the non-starter throwback confusion of the recent Caretaker album (which merely revived his old "style" - ballroom records wholesale sampled with not a great deal else to embellish them apart from a "spooky" vibe - he was indulging in a decade ago) I'm more than impressed by the ambient choral sludge pouring into my lugholes this morning. To me, this guy is one of the cleverest subversives & great modern minds of experimental music. I totally adore these gloopy slo-monged rhythms & distorted sheets of crumbling fuzz on the opening piece. It kind of recalls some of the recent Autechre stuff in that beneath the apparent chaos there is an eccentric groove but also concealed within the melee there is also a kind of new-age optimism & 5 am euphoria amidst the distinctly spectral, haunting druid-like wails & grainy, murky textures. A short piece next that has that disorientating panning thing whacking you right out whilst a sweet ambient tune (complete with a giddy meandering low-end) occurs somewhere beneath. Like recent records by Our Love Will Destroy the World & Astral Social Club, it is a great chunk of mad psychedelic beauty. This however does not quite prepare you for the tranquil epic beauty on the flip, a side-long spread of tender ambience & kosmische dream-scapery that, whilst incredibly pretty & evocative, has a distinct dystopian tinge, like a beautiful view over a sunbaked East Sussex valley on the eve of war breaking out. For some reason it reminds me more of Faust in spirit than any of the other legendary German practitioners/ characters known for this sort of thing. I hate to get sentimental but I think this is one of the most divine pieces of music Mr. Kirby has produced, so there...
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