Three down, three to go: Leyland Kirby continues his mission as The Caretaker to explore the musical aesthetics of dementia on the third of his six-part Everywhere at the End of Time project. At this stage of the narrative, Kirby’s ballroom loops become increasingly murky and fragmented; the light spirits of the samples increasingly ironic and troubling. Available on CD and vinyl via Kirby’s own History Always Favours the Winners imprint.
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- Everywhere At The End Of Time - Stage 3 by The Caretaker
7/10 Robin Staff review, 04 October 2017
Here we go then. Part three of six. We’re at the end of Leyland Kirby’s Lord of the Rings trilogy; the next three will be Hobbit extravagances. This is the latest of his records to be titled ‘Everywhere At the End of Time’, another entry into his serial on the cycle of dementia, which he has “given” to his Caretaker alias before he eventually kills off the project for good. You probably know all that by now, and like me you may have raised your eyebrows into nonexistence. Where the changes between the first record and the second were subtle to the point of a shrug, though, this third stage feels like a whole new version of the Caretaker, using the same looped swing ambiences but with profoundly different phrasings.
We all know the deal, by now: the horns swinging their way back and forth, occasionally looping back on themselves, with broken cadences that offer no respite or conclusion. On this record, the ambience starts to take over, its throbbing, hissing, buzzing nearly removing the musical artifacts, often covering over them as though they were being separated from their listener. It sounds as if Kirby has phased and delayed these tunes, and so often they feel like they’re bouncing off walls, finding strange, disturbing rhythms where before they could be stilled and placed.
It’s noisier and more disturbing, this record: the focus is on bluster and chaos, on the noise that wraps itself tightly around the music. It also feels like a particular creative nod from Kirby at the homogeneity that’s been stagnating the Caretaker project all this time: though it relies on the exact same set of tools and aesthetics, the slight adjustments made here make for an entirely different kind of record. The project's thematic content still seems stupid and crass to me -- but I can't accuse him of half-assing it.
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