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- Monument EP by epic45
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 04 February 2014
Epic45 are back with a new EP! Well I say new, four of these tracks have been released before a couple of years back on Monoscope and the other two are an ISAN remix and a reworking of the title track featuring Disco Inferno’s Ian Crause, but that’s new enough for me.
The sounds on here are quite minimal but also richly layered, with the earnest vocals sitting on warm cushions of synth drift and dreamily echoed guitar twinkles. It’s a finely detailed and gently paced EP which recalls latter-era Talk Talk in its silky post-pop cleverness. 'Skeletons' sees a simple vocal line augmented by glitchy echoes of itself that reminds me of the brittle fragility of some Hood stuff, but the backing is much more lazy and languorous than that band’s autumnal precision. ‘Ideas As Opiates’ (a Tears For Fears cover) goes in a different direction entirely with the soundstage dominated by a simple two-chord piano motif, some simple percussion and soothing boy/girl vocal harmonies. It’s a nice little U-turn to tie up the EP and keep us guessing.
As for the remixes, ISAN’s mix of ‘Monument’ is full of alien modular synth loops and quavering drones, joined after a while by the familiar vocal line, a basic synth melody and some ghostly synth choirs. It’s quite a departure from the lushly accessible original, colder and somehow distant, but still quite affecting. ‘Monument II’ is a slight reinvention of the original which throws in some harp and loads of reverb, but it’s still recognisably the same song. It opens up quite nicely in the chorus with some tasteful guitar and is that an accordion?
9/10 Simon Customer review, 7th February 2014
I've arrived a bit "late to the party" with epic45, despite Phil and all at Norman Towers having championed them for years. I took a punt on the re-issues of Slides and Drakelow, and was very impressed. I've almost bought the 4 track 10" 4 or 5 times, so didn't hesitate when Monument was announced. And, wow, it is absolutely gorgeous. Top tunes, beautiful arrangements - when those chiming guitars enter the title track, I go all gooey (not a pleasant sight). Inspired by this release, I am currently making amends by hoovering up their back catalogue. I ought to give this 10/10 but, Friday's philosophical dilemma, if there such a thing as perfection? If so, this just might be it!
9/10 MarkyC Customer review, 24th January 2014
Managed to get my hands on an early copy of this EP. It's fantastic, A great listen start to finish. Anyone who owns the Monoscope release knows the first 4 tracks are worth admission fee alone but the 2 new tracks are brilliant. A great remix and an exciting re imagining of Momument.
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