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- Menagerie #3 LP by Various
9/10 Mike Staff review, 05 January 2012
I'm totally getting the cream of the reviews pile this week, lucky old me. That Horrid Red album's got me off to a flying start and now I surely can't go wrong with this beautiful-looking new comp on Blackest Rainbow. On it we've got Ben Nash, Twinsistermoon, Isengrind and C Joynes Et Son Ensemble, knocking out one number each per side, and then there's a really beautiful colour printed zine where different artists provide their interpretations of each track for one side, and provide art that is interpreted by the musicians on the other. All beautifully assembled, and the front cover design by Jake Blanchard and Jim Stoten is a psychedelic feast for the eyes to boot. As for the music, Ben Nash lays out some mournful piano-led ambience which is soothing and beautiful to start things out, Twinsistermoon and Isengrind's contributions are gorgeous drifty atmospheric things that you're bound to enjoy if you like their Natural Snow Buildings work, and C Joynes Et Son Ensemble liven things up a bit with some unusual yet quite natural sounding instrumental lo-fi psych-folk Americana twangings on their first track, and bring it down on the other side with an indulgently melodic organ-and guitar-led East-meets-West jam with a sloooooooow bassline that brings to mind Sun Araw. Nash's closing offering Hollow Pond is a murky, creaking passage of dark ambience with high ethereal wails, miles away from his soothing opener. This is a brilliantly sequenced, lavishly packaged compilation that will please anyone who's a fan of this label and their psychedelic adventures in minimal.
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