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Two of the UK’s most fascinating outsider musicians, avant-harpist Rhodri Davies and post-folk troubadour Richard Dawson, have both been doing the rounds for some time now, earning the respect of a dedicated following of people who like something a bit different. No great surprise, then, that the two men decided to put their heads together and work together on this collaborative effort. Ove ...

LP £11.99 av050

Ltd 180g vinyl LP on alt.vinyl. Edition of 250 copies.

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Dawson-Davies: Hen Ogledd by Dawson-Davies: Hen Ogledd
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8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 03 October 2013

Two of the UK’s most fascinating outsider musicians, avant-harpist Rhodri Davies and post-folk troubadour Richard Dawson, have both been doing the rounds for some time now, earning the respect of a dedicated following of people who like something a bit different. No great surprise, then, that the two men decided to put their heads together and work together on this collaborative effort.

Over the course of the album there are five pieces, four on side A and then a single lengthy piece on the flip. On the first side the focus seems to be on Davies and his amazing distorted harp - I’m picking up some repetitive guitar details from Dawson which accompany him fine but he’s the star of the show here, tearing some red hot crackling, stuttering fuzz from his instrument of choice. It’s brash, loud and unapologetic, and played with a fiery dexterity which is mesmerising.

Over on the other side the lengthy ‘Chickpea To Cook’ is entirely different. Gone are the walls of fuzz, replaced by a landscape of very physical putter and twang, a disorienting improvisation with a gentle freeform flow which is chaotic but strangely relaxing. Towards the end there are lots of ‘boing’ noises like a plastic ruler being held against the edge of a table and plucked (don’t pretend you never did that in school). If you’re into this kind of free expressive collaboration and enjoy what these two do, you’re sure to like this album.


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