LP £13.49 MIE024
LP on MIE. Edition of 500 copies feat. Dave Shuford, Jimy SeiTang, Justin Tripp, Steve Gunn, Nathan Bowles, Margot Bianca and Wednesday Knudsen.
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Just as I was starting to fear that this week was throwing me a succession of stinkers, everything I've had to review so far today has been magical. This Black Dirt Oak LP is no exception. The band might not be familiar to you but many of the personnel probably will - Steve Gunn, Nathan Bowles, Jimy SeiTang, Justin Tripp, Margot Mianga, Dave Shuford and Wednesday Knudsen, alumni of such acts as GHQ, Rhyton and NNCK, locked in a heady primal choogle over nine surprisingly succinct and accessible tracks.
The opening tracks exhibit a kind of Americana meets Eastern folk aesthetic with lots of tangy drones accompanying some twangy guitar, before the album hits a fork in the road on fourth track 'Demon Directive', delving suddenly into smoky late night funk, a sexy, sensuous groove with brushed drums, mumbled vocals, jazzy brass flourishes and feathery guitars; a sleazy, sinister syrup of sex and barely-contained malice. The track which follows it, 'The Drowned Lands', makes a brief return to the clean folky sounds before launching into an irresistible pop shuffle with sleazy exotic vocals, this one's almost like a classic Bollywood track, and the cheeky Eastern guitar hook that ties it all together is addictive.
On the other side this sleazy direction continues apace, with side B's opener 'Heurequeque' a weird porno-funk interlude before the noir spoken word and nocturnal dub murk of 'Late Night Fang', and closer 'Crowning The Bard' is a smoky and seductive fog of pattering, droning freeform mysticiscm punctuated by clear, plaintive guitar meanderings. Penultimate track 'From The Jaguar Priest', however, bucks the trend with a lengthy folk raga jam with female vocals, boingy drones and folky strummed guitars. Towards the end it picks up pace with bluegrassy banjo picking, spooky organ and a bouncy bassline over a simple little harmonised "ooh-ooh-ooh" vocal. I think part of what's surprising and delighting me most about this album are these small moments of perfect pop which shine out
8/10 Mal Customer review, 1st July 2014
Music that demands that you listen. Every time I've played this I've had to stop whatever I've been doing and do just that! This weather you like it or not demands attention.
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