At The Down-Turned Jagged Rim Of The Sky by Jessica Bailiff

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At The Down-Turned Jagged Rim Of The Sky by Jessica Bailiff
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9/10 Brian 28 September 2012

Well, if there's a label you can trust to be honest in their press releases it is the quite wonderful Kranky, one of the few internationally renowned labels of great stature that commands respect through releasing fantastic, exciting music. They're bloody visionary if you ask me. Kranky say they weren't remotely expecting this album and that it is her most satisfying body of work yet. They're not wrong, oh no.

I've heard bits and bats of her past shoegaze/slo-core/folk, love her voice and use of restrained noise, space and texture plus that thing she did with close buddy Odd Nosdam off the Burner album (Untitled 3) is still a tune I regularly reach for. He gives this new suite a mastering polish, incidentally but apart from that, this is the sound of a lone woman truly mastering her domain and incidentally writing some freakin' lush songs into the process, yes, 'At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky' surely is a career defining record that reveals something new and thrilling on each listen. Her sonic world has finally jelled into something remarkable and beautifully complete.

Did I mention Low? Opener 'Your Ghost is not Enough' sounds like Lali Puna, Mazzy Star, Belong and Duluth, Maine's finest rolling around in a whirlpool of breathy sad sensitivity. The foreboding ethereal march of 'Sanguine' will satisfy people who yearned for a melancholic paganist cross between Electrelane, Stereolab and something akin to the earthy primitivism of label-mates Implodes. There's an intoxicating purity to these songs and the album swims into your ears brandishing these spectral folk/choral influences and considered use of trailing feedback or rugged psychedelia! Just check out the simple eerie melodies and stirring sensuality of the songs. I cannot get the spiralling organ line from 'Violets & Roses' out of my head. Later on 'Goodnight' marries a startling near-choral descending vocal lullaby to a funereal organ and solemn drum backing which is then smothered in this viscous sludgy guitar that errs more on the side of doom than anything. It is simply stunning.

If there's one thing that identifies Kranky artists it's the organic and almost primal nature of much of the music which gives it this living, tactile power which leads to significant emotional responses. This is one of those records, another rocket in their armoury of enviably brilliant records (applies to both Jess and the label!).



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