The Slowest Lift is, I am pleased to announce, the sweet team-up of Todmorden’s finest Sophie Cooper and Vibracathedral Orchestra / Piss Superstition man Julian Bradley. Both are excellent at handling linear, semi-abstract and fully messed-up sounds, and this debut album of theirs is a strange and wonderful trip to take. Vinyl release from VHF.
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The Slowest Lift comprises seasoned co-conspirators Sophie Cooper and Julian Bradley, Yorkshire noisebuddies capable of crafting spectral and psychedelic anthologies. Cooper is a trombonist and guitarist to the stars; Bradley helps make trancing sonorities for the big (noise) band Vibracathedral Orchestra. They made a meditative mess on their last tape together, and under their new combined alias they offer another striking balance of abrasive and cozy.
With layers of voice and oozing feedback, tunes like “The Slowest Lift” offer a surprisingly lovely noise shell to get lost in, offering the kind of looping world-building of droner Julianna Barwick, but with the new age replaced by something altogether harsher. Lovely strands and notes of guitars fall like gentle snow on “Bank Holiday Tuesday”, Cooper’s purposefully absent-minded playing combining with whining and whirring keyboards that should create an off-setting effect but instead fill the landscape right up.
It’s not all lovely, and nor is it supposed to be -- the trembling guitars and faltering horns of “Preset” see the duo go dissonant and doomy, offering nothing by the way of respite in a narrow-tunnel cacophony. Once again, though, the overall feeling is that these two make wonderfully warm noise together, carrying their work on ‘The Blow Volume 3’ forward to a record that feels one and whole. It's abstract, but invitingly so.
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