Available on CD or as Gatefold double Vinyl on Ici d'ailleurs. After a 10 year hiatus, working on Numbers Not Names and a Third Eye foundation album, Bristol’s Chris Cole returns under his Manyfingers moniker. The Spectacular Nowhere showcases his huge growth as a classical composer since his previous records. Features guest performances from David Callahan (Moonshake), with nods to Phillip Glass and Steve Reich it is certainly a unique mix. Includes bonus track as EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOAD.
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 06 May 2015
Manyfingers is the nom de plume of Chris Cole, who has a history of playing in some of the finest bands Bristol has produced. Search the internet carefully and you’ll see him eating an ice cream with Movietone, whilst he has also played in the live band of Matt Elliott’s Third Eye Foundation project. Since 2004 Cole has been making music on his own as Manyfingers, first with Moteer, before producing one of the great lost records of the early 2000s with the utterly superb Our Worn Shadow.
This is his first album since 2005 and it has the sound of a record that has been pored over by its producer for many years. Opener ‘Ode To Louis Thomas Hardin‘ is an exquisite neo-classical piece which most obviously recalls Arvo Part, but as you delve further into the album the main difference between this and previous work is the use of vocals. Cole himself sings on occasion, but one of the major voices used is the disgruntled growl of Dave Callahan of The Wolfhounds and Moonshake. He is first heard on ‘The Dump Pickers Of Rainham’ which immediately transports the album away from Yann Tiersen-ish beauty and into a more post-apocalyptic atmosphere that recalls the dirgey grind of Swans and the seething anger of Disco Inferno.
The album sways between these two styles; comforting beauty jarring with impassioned realism. The absolutely gorgeous ‘Erasrev‘ is a highlight, with chamber piano and cellos slowly building into a circular melody, topped off with fascinating sing-songy vocals which snare the ear. ‘No Real Men’ is as far as the album delves into Rachels ‘Music For Egon Shiele’-styled atmospherics, whilst the remnants of the Bristol Scene can be heard in the jazzy, post-rock, drums-and-string samples of ‘Go Fuck Your Mediocrity’ - the moment it most closely resembles Third Eye Foundation.
‘The Spectacular Nowhere’ is possibly not the sort of record that one plays along in the background whilst you have a warming bath. It contains much beauty but also has atonal, jarring moments and questions the listener throughout. In short, this is superb, neo-classical influenced music with added grit. And it comes very highly recommended.
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