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Stephen Cracknell has been making folk inflected acoustronica (sorry!) for quite some time with The Memory Band, The Accidental and others and his records have been pleasant affairs, if at times a little straight laced. I’m pleased to see then that this record is a much more ambitious effort incorporating spoken word samples, bleeps...and dare we say, dance music. Opener ‘The Wearing of the Horns (Weyhill on my mind)’ impresses from the very first second, with the sound of tractors, seagulls and farmers incorporated into an intoxicating folk inflected brew that is genuinely arresting. The glacial female vocals just add a delicious cherry on top of the cake. Imagine something somewhere between Disco Inferno, Big Audio Dynamite, Fourtet and Pentangle and you are probably still miles away. It does sound genuinely new and innovative which is a rare thing in the well trodden field of folk inflected music.
‘I See Cuckoo’ continues the cut and paste techniques sounding not unlike Tunng with a BBC library LP of found countryside sounds at their disposal. Much more electronic than earlier efforts like ‘Oh My Days’ there is more of the Fourtet vibe in a lot of the tracks...or more likely the slew of bands and artists that were initially in awe of the folktronica of early Hebden. There were loads of them and it was a big thing for awhile now pretty much old hat but this album takes the best bits from the genre injecting it with a vital new lease of life. At certain points the mixture of gentle soundtracky instrumentation and spoken word samples remind me of a kind of rural farmyard take on the recent phenomenally successful but yet fatally one dimensional Public Service Broadcasting record, ‘Facing the Granite Country’ injecting some much need bassy doom into gentle meanderings.
9/10 Lara Pawson Customer review, 21st December 2015
I'm not sure I can write well about music. But I came across this band -- and this album -- while I was Googling about on the internet. Someone recommended it. I can't remember who. I went to The Memory Band's website, and began listening to the tracks and the albums listed there -- and, before very long, I was transported into another state of mind. A better place. A place of imagination. A place of dreaming. A place far away. I absolutely loved it. I wanted to buy all the albums there and then. But, instead, I've bought one. I'm giving it to my partner for Christmas. I can't wait to watch his face as he listens to it. And I want to give the same CD to lots of other friends. How come I've never heard of The Memory Band until now? Where have I been all my life?Their music is fantastic.
And -- to add -- I am even more delighted to have found Norman Records. I will aim to buy ALL my CDs from you guys now. The service I've received is fantastic. I love your website. The whole tone. The whole thing. Living, as we are, in pretty dismal times -- politically, environmentally, etc -- I feel like I've found a chink of light, both in The Memory Band AND with Norman Records. Thank you both very much. Keep up the good work! You are making people happy. What a great thing.
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