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- A Circle Is Forever by The Big Ship
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As it’s record store eve (better than christmas eve?) there are very few ‘normal’ records out this week, plenty of your £13.99 Pink Floyd 7”s though. This is one of the very few records that are available to the mass public that you can buy today. It’s a lovely record that should not be overlooked in the clamour to get that reissued Chas & Dave 7”.
It reminds me of the mid-late ‘90s wave of pastoral Chicago bands who mixed finger picked guitars with post-rock dynamics. I’m thinking of Jim O’Rourke and Jeff Tweedy’s Loose Fur project, O’Rourke’s two lovely guitar-y solo endeavours or the overlooked Tortoise offshoot Pullman. Anyway they use Fahey-like acoustic guitar plucking, run it alongside found sounds (a cash register at one point, a waterfall at others) throwing bits and pieces on top of the mix to keep their lengthy guitar pieces from being too sweet.
The guitar playing itself is just beautiful, worthy at times of James Blackshaw, it is a part of their overall sound rather than being the whole thing and sometimes takes a back seat to other stuff going on yet shouldn’t be overlooked. The B side starts with a much noisier piece much more in keeping with Barn Owl, elsewhere they delve into Brian Eno like atmospheres (as befits their name - taken from an Eno album) they delve into a kraut jam on the final psyche exploration title track. So an album of two halves really, the B side will appeal to your inner Follakzoid fan...although ‘Old Film Negative’ is just gorgeous with its Afro-guitar pickings and keening vocal. The A side though is pretty much built for your pastoral finger picked post rock fan (i.e me) and is truly lovely. Comes in nice, hand-made, hand painted sleeve.
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