Check this hot combo: experimental harp extraordinaire Rhodri Davies, the magical folk hero Richard Dawson and Dawn Bothwell aka Pentecostal Party. There is even a guest appearance from Laura Cannell hiding in the mix somewhere… Bronze is a highly expressive swarm of communal improvisation on varied instrumentation: remarkable sounds. 250 LP copies on alt.vinyl.
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- Bronze by Hen Ogledd
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Scraped smashed and forgotten, these sounds between silence belong to a most holy trinity of Richard Dawson, of singing picking and telling jokes fame, old-time collaborator and harp improviser Rhodri Davies, along with new weirdness conspirator Dawn Bothwell (of Pentecostal Party). Quite a meeting, this, though mentioning the artists responsible feels rather pointless in a record so absolved of ego and in thrall of just making sounds on the floor until something spooky happens.
One thing I like about this one is that it grows: a lot of scrape ‘n’ moan music that focuses on amplification stays skeletal to its end, but this trio build cataclysmic drones, eventually closing the gap between their momentary sounds and their corresponding silences to fill the room with an ominous and discordant drone frenzy. “Ancient Data” goes from glimpses of metallic sound to an incredible fanfare of double recorders, performed by the excellent Laura Cannell, as if moving from a castle dungeon to a grand ceremony. The mix of musical grandiosity and percussive gutter is rather wonderful, the record carrying into “Gondoliers” with an urgent march of percussion and harp. With the extreme whistles and toy instruments, it sounds something like medieval free jazz.
It’s often as if the artists are making parallel pieces, rather than collaborative ones: “Beyond Belief” has strikingly emotive guitar oscillations going for it while other loops take on a noisier and more cosmic set of questlines. “Amputated Video” sounds both earthy, due to its foot-stepped percussion, and ominous in its little rhythmic overflows. They made this all over one day, in winter, so I’ll grant it its torrential quality. Recommended if you like days, in winter. Excellent.
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