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Mark McDowell and Friends are a bunch of psychedelic folkers. Dark Weave combines ‘60s psych folk, drone and haunting ballads played on acoustic guitars, analogue synths and sitars. The globetrotting troupe recorded their fifth album in San Francisco, Bristol and Wales. Limited edition green vinyl LP on Friend Of The Fish.

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  • Friends of the fish24 / Limited edition green coloured vinyl LP on Friends Of The Fish
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Dark Weave by Mark McDowell and Friends
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7/10 Clinton Staff review, 16 May 2018

Possibly because I imagined 'Dark Weave' being a reference to Gary Numan's hair I was thinking of this as an electronica album but though there are electronics present it is no such thing. It's pure gentle folk from the hills which is remarkably pretty at times. Whilst the opening title track is classic dark Wicker Man style folk and tests my inability to have synths and folk guitars in the same room (see yesterday's David Jaycock problems), 'Service of Owls' is a gorgeous fluttering piece that sounds not unlike the folky drift of Espers. 'Look in the Dust' is like the lighter side of Goat as seen on their 'Requiem' record.

Everything (other than the first track strangely) is as pretty as a clam. The guitars sound like water glinting down a Yorkshire Dales waterfall and there's all kinds of instrument oddities added to the brew but sit amongst the sing song folk and not on top of it. McDowell sings atop in unthreatening but tuneful style. Basically this will soundtrack a Hebden Bridge tie dye workshop without anyone taking offence. Makes me want to run to the hills.   


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