9/10 Mike Staff review, 14 October 2013
Phil just told me this is the last of the Ghost Box ‘Study Series’ 7”s. What will they do now? They’ll be at a loose end. “They’ll just have to bring some other records out I guess,” proffers Phil, “maybe start another series.” Then again he did say that this single was by Belbury Poly and Spacehog so we must take all this with a grain of salt...
Anyway, on this single we’ve got Belbury Poly and Spacedog making the sounds. On the first side is a cheeky little spook-pop ditty with vocals which alternate from sultry crooning to Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia-esque sad girl chat. I’m liking the cheeky synth bass line and dubby melodica details, and towards the end there’s a nice tinkly flowing piano line and it all starts to remind me of Plaid. Very tasteful post-dub electronica. The vocals are a bit high in the mix for my liking but apart from that it’s fine.
For me it’s all about the B side ‘Quiet Industry’, though. It’s a veritable party for the ears, samples of mill machinery form frenetically layered clockwork polyrhythms over a constantly shifting landscape of library synths and chopped up vocals and is that an oboe? I’m not sure, it’s all flying by so quickly. It’s relentless but richly detailed with a widescreen kind of toytown feel to it, looking down from so high you can see the whole city. A gorgeous chord progression and all sorts of rhythmic jiggery-pokery, it’s jittery and alive with a warm steampunk energy. Absolute blinder of a track. To break down my score here, It’s 7/10 for side A, 11/10 for side B, making an average of 9.
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- The Study Series 10: Message and Method by Belbury Poly and Spacedog
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