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I’ve just reviewed Julianna Barwick, then Zola Jesus with a string quartet, and now it’s the turn of Orla Wren to massage my ears with some soft and delicate crooning over gentle neoclassical-tinged arrangements. This CD comes in some truly elaborate packaging, folding out to four panels with a DVD and some art cards tucked in, and a little poster comes with it too. Clearly a labour of ...

CD £19.99 homen046

8 panel CD+DVD package on Home Normal inc. A3 poster + 6 art-cards. CHEAP COPIES!.

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Book Of The Folded Forest by Orla Wren
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8/10 Mike Staff review, 14 August 2013

I’ve just reviewed Julianna Barwick, then Zola Jesus with a string quartet, and now it’s the turn of Orla Wren to massage my ears with some soft and delicate crooning over gentle neoclassical-tinged arrangements. This CD comes in some truly elaborate packaging, folding out to four panels with a DVD and some art cards tucked in, and a little poster comes with it too. Clearly a labour of love.

Investigating further it would seem that the main character in Orla Wren is in fact a male multi-instrumentalist who goes simply by Tui, and the crooning ladies are among a host of guest musicians to contribute to this album - I’m spotting familiar names among the personnel like Katie English (aka Isnaj Dui), Aaron Martin and Danny Norbury (who seems to be on a one-man mission to play on every record released this week, having already appeared on the Rudi Arapahoe and Simon Bainton titles on Hibernate).

The overall tone of the album is one of calming, composed ambience, with Tui moving through a succession of different instruments over the course of the CD - music box, pipe organ, Chinese ceramic bowl, celeste, piano, zither, clarinet, Indian shruti box, glockenspiel, more than one kind of flute, synthesizer, field recordings - clearly a very talented man! You’d think this would result in a confusing, schizophrenic album, but actually it’s all very consistently smooth and palatable, bathed in a soft ghostly light as its melodies trickle slowly through you. Truly mesmerising and relaxing stuff.


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