Funny, I was just thinking the other day when will there be another Mark Pritchard album. Well my prayers/thoughts are answered with this collection to follow up his much loved 'Under the Sun'. Though there are no Thom Yorke collabs here to 6 music playlist him, he does collaborate with underground poets and oddballs such as San Fran's the Space Lady.
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The last Mark Pritchard 'Under the Sun' LP was one of those LPs everyone should own. The sort of record that appeals to folks who buy just a few records a year and those who have followed Pritchard from back in his Global Communication days. A catch-all electronic record with nods to Moondog and Boards of Canada plus added Thom Yorke into the equation for good measure
'Four Worlds' is such a different beast that it's hard not to be disappointed in comparison. It's extremely low key in nature with simple synth lines and drum machines - as if Pritchard has gone back to basics and retreated away from the big moves of 'Under the Sun' into a murky underground world. There are moments of studied beauty such as 'The Arch Window' which is a glorious piece of Eno-esque ambience while opener 'Glasspops' sounds like Pritchard has been listening to some of those early 80's darkwave compilations. 'Parkstone Melody II' meanwhile is almost the best thing here - a lovely circular thing as pleasant as anything on 'Selected Ambient Works'.
All would be fine as an intimate lo-fi slab of primitive electronics but the thing making the album a hard sell for me is the spoken word collaborations. On 'Come Let Us' the voice of Gregory Pritchard is used in a repetitive manner that soon becomes grating and Space Lady's mother earth rant on 'S.O'S' is a bit unwieldy and sort of cringeworthy.
So a strange record, not without moments of excellence. Its short length suggests it's more of an interim record than anything. Best taken on its own terms and not compare with 'Under the Sun'. They are like chalk and...oh something totally different to chalk...um...plastic.
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