Ltd white marble vinyl LP in silk-screened sleeve on Smeraldina-Rima.
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Alex Monk follows ‘The Safety Machine’ with a second outing for Smeraldina Rima that features a bunch of guests (Sand Snowman, Gareth Jones and Steve Dowle) as well as an impressive array of instruments including personal favourites like the Novation Bass Station and Casio SK-1 as well as the exotic Dan Tranh, a 17-string Vietnamese zither! I don’t know this instrument but I’m guessing it probably sounds like a 12-string acoustic guitar.
As with previous outings ‘Indiscreet Mirror’ is a sombre, melancholy affair but the vibe is much more organic this time around with acoustic instruments and voice being the driving force in the majority of compositions. I’ll happily admit I struggle with Monk’s voice but other than that it’s an excellent piece of work, rife with experimentation without neglecting tunefulness and forgoing the kraut/kosmische vibe of ‘The Safety Machine’ for folkier more pastoral terrain. At its best, for example on ‘Threlenea’, it combines the two worlds to impressive psychedelic effect. It’s worth noting the excellent screen-printed sleeve as well as the sweet white marble vinyl.
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