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This is the debut offering from Steve Gribbin, under his pseudonym theapplesofenergy. The title apparently refers to the fact that the album was recorded half in Gribbin's tiny flat and half in the open wilds of the Campsie Hills in Scotland. I'm totally enjoying how this has been constructed. There are concretey elements, but it's always glacially paced so there's no frantic fluttering cuts to deal with or anything like that, and there's a variety of richly layered, swelling drones and rumbles which are often offset by field recordings of birdsong or rainfall. In an early section there's some fingerpicked guitar as the focal point, but elsewhere it's more about the drones and found sounds. The pacing and composition kind of reminds me of that recent bit of loveliness from Scissors And Sellotape (except without all the piano), actually; relaxing and therapeutic whilst still being mysterious and hard to get a clear grasp on. There's bits with echoey squeaks and drips alongside the drones that sounds quite Constellation-esque - in places this record really comes across like a more droney, less melodically focused Polmo Polpo - and it's no surprise to learn that this guy has spent time in Toronto in the not-too-distant past. That city's coldness and diversity and get-on-with-it mentality seems to brush off on anyone that touches it, I think. An absorbing LP from a promising new talent in minimal. Celestial loveliness that will appeal to fans of Polmo Polpo, Stars Of The Lid, Machinefabriek...you know the score by now.
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