Back in 1997 is was difficult to accept that Slint's Spiderland was already five years gone and that there'd be no follow up. Guitarist David Pajo had busied himself as session musician and collaborator with the likes of Tortoise and Stereolab but quietly he was squirrelling away the cyclical instrumentals that would make up the debut Ariel M album. It's a lovely thing....like a relaxed Slint or a quiet Mogwai and after being out of print for years should be snapped up pronto.
Vinyl LP £17.99 DC114
Repress LP on Drag City.
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Vinyl LP £10.99
USED LP on Drag City, EX/VG+ (2" spine split in top of sleeve).
David Pajo has done many things in his life. He's been in Slint, Tortoise, had a minor role in 'Hi Fidelity', collaborated with Stereolab and Will Oldham, been part of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and infamously Billy Corgan's Zwan. All while managing to never look a day older than when he was pictured in that lake on the cover of 'Spiderland'.
This, however, has to be the high water mark of his solo meanderings. Its an absolute classic album of slow moving guitar instrumentals that sit right in the mid-point between Slint and Mogwai. Its not as dynamic as Slint and utilises the quiet/loud thing less than Mogwai but is perfectly comparable to the 'quiet bits' of both bands. There are 7 songs, all instrumental. The guitars are nice and clean, unfurling round each other and intertwining as if they were two pieces of string getting tangled up. Its a wonderfully evocative listen, quiet, no fanfare, reaching a peak on the magnificent 'Aass'. You could fall asleep to this and it would be wonderful.
Many of you oldsters might have it already and there are no extras to tempt a repeat purchase. But its been out of print on vinyl for awhile and if you worship at the alter of Mogwai, Slint and Tortoise this is essential listening.
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