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- Silver Balloons In Clusters by Quicksails
8/10 Mike Staff review, 03 May 2012
This latest one from the reliable Under the Spire is an LP of synth textures and live percussion from Quicksails, aka Ben Billington. It's got spiritual throbbing, gliding synths and then there's more percussive trebly details and warm, muddy drum rumblings. In 'Deep Creak' the bass drum sound is boomy and womb-like, like distant cannon fire, while astral synths jets streak gracefully overhead. I feel like I'm taking cover in a bunker in some dystopian sci-fi warzone waiting for Chuck Norris to come and bail me out of there. Although I'm an unremarkable balding man and would no doubt be required to sacrifice myself in sad but necessary circumstances before the film was out anyway so I'm glad to be out of there and into the spooky squiggles of 'Broken Signals' now, heading more out into an Italian horror tip.
I have now turned the record over. 'Falling Dance' pairs a jarring, creepy treble drone with gently tinkling arpeggios and insistent tribal-sounding polyrhythms for a creepy, driving effect, with the synths dropping out at the end to reveal the layered, galloping drum rumble at the close. My other highlight of this side is the lengthy 'Could it Be a Silver Balloon?', which sounds totally Blade Runner...twitchy techno pulses and creepy top-end gliding tones and metallic shudders. Closer 'A Million Knots' sounds like John Carpenter's idea of a Christmas single. Really interesting album.
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