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This album of muffled incantations here is the work of Matt Williams from the marvellous BEAK> and Team Brick. We gave it a spin yesterday and I was super impressed even before I knew who it was, although it’s a difficult record to properly get a grasp on, there’s neoclassical bits, ambient bits, ritualistic chanty bits, hypno-kraut bits - but they all melt into one another and nothing sounds forced or jarring or abrupt.
According to the press release, it’s a “record of Autistic Blues / Acoustic Hell - Songs written from an autistic perspective (Matt is HFA) about processing the horrible world around you and hating it but trying to find the tiny slivers of light - at the same time, a reaction against the notion that acoustic music is a safehold for twee fuckers who just want to eat cupcakes and rub each other with fuckin ukeleles.” So there it is from the horse’s mouth, if you will.
There’s some amazing saturated, reverby Godspeed-esque field recordings in a couple of places, and elsewhere there’s echoes of Alexander Tucker’s churning neoclassical plainsong-tinged atmospheres with stoic piano cleverly played off against a squeaking histrionic violin in the ominous ‘Smilin Resplendent Up Worried Gulch’, with controlled but unpredictable vocal harmonies that threaten chaos.
There’s a bit of a Master Musicians of Bukkake feel, or maybe even Anworth Kirk in places, but the melodic structures here seem more focused and the spooky vocal harmonies bring it into a kind of Wicker Man territory in places. On the flip things get more layered and dark ambient but it’s still the same acoustic neoclassical incantation vibe, with the epic doom-laden screech fest of a finale ‘Pitgazer’ being an appropriately arresting finish to an objectively good record.
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