On his fifth record as Human Greed, Michael Begg continues to obsess and fantasize over the cruellest of themes, this time focusing on death, both on a personal and cosmic level. Influenced by 16th century composition, the record experiments with minimal sounds and chilling spoken poems; on "Waiting In A Car", he juxtaposes primitive keys with barely heard chimes and ascending strings which climax around vocal samples.
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Michael Begg returns this week with 'World Fair', a slow and haunting mixture of graceful ambience, spoken word, 16th century composition and chamber-neofolk which is his fifth album under his Human Greed alter-ego. Begg has enlisted a variety of friends and collaborators to help out here, with contributions from Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Colin Potter (Nurse With Wound, Monos), Steven R Smith (Ulaan Khol, Hala Strana), Sophie Bancroft and numerous others.
Despite comprising 15 reasonably compact tracks, the overall effect is one of seamless dream-like drift, shifting almost imperceptibly from one hallucination to another. I'm finding it quite hypnotic. One minute it's all alien processed drones and clouds of ethereal tone, the next there's a lady doing spoken word over some indistinct field recordings, then there's a strange sea of voices, layered so thick it's hard to make out any of the words being sung, then some prettily delivered neofolk and strings, then we're back into the droney ambience, then 'Chrysler' impresses with growing swells of whooshing, crumbling ambience and chaotic twinkling percussion and a lonely, crunchily strummed guitar. It's a musical journey, as they say, and a thoroughly absorbing one at that. Complex experimental tones with an accessibly melodic backbone.
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- World Fair by Human Greed
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