From gardens where we feel insecure! Always exciting to hear a compilation of new music from a host of (mostly) unknowns - not least in a world so obsessed with whacking off into the defenceless laundry-basket of the past (THOU SHALT REAP WHAT THY SOW!), but especially when it's, ya know, GOOD. This here display of pastoral chops from the sapling Infant Tree imprint is good. I'd go as far as to say it is a joy.
Cucina Povera is the biggest “name” involved, delivering another very fine, F ingers-esque mix of painterly vocalese and rhythmic minimal synth; OG Thieving Dog and Infant Tree commander Malvern Brume weighs in with ‘Clyphann’, a lovely wheelbarrow-joyride through compost-heap-concrète and see-sawing folk energies; later on the disc he teams up with Middex for its best track, a blend of not-too-nauseating-but-just-nauseating-enough electronics and fragmented spoken wurd that strikes just the right (mono)tone between surrealism n deathly deadpan...think Matthew Revert, Shadow Ring, The Rev tracks on that old Hang Ten Records comp that south coast second-hand shops/slops seem to have an inexhaustible supply of.
Setrus delivers a solid piece of campfire-broadcast IDM, Territorial Gobbing choose the medium of aggy, stereo-panning field recordings to advise that ‘McDonalds is a Flat Circle’ and Anna Peaker (which I always think is a made-up Pill Collins-style name but is I think, a real person) sets the controls for the heart of the THRUM (sorry) with the gauzy, dawn-treading organ drones of ‘Aster’ making me nostalgic for that brief period in my life when I thought ELECTRONIC MUSIC could heal my soul (it didn’t!). ASMR’s '1’ is even more mellifluous, pure Eno’s Golden Syrup, the sort of ending-ascent I’ll ask the nurse to pop on when I’m dying (as in, proper lights out, GOING UP time) and we’ve given Marc Almond and the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blue’s Orchestra’s ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ a good go. Speaking of going up, The Silver Field is an interesting proposition, his/their dramatic windswept electric-hurdy-gurdy pop psychodrama comin over like a dissolute choirboy channelling late Coil or Richard Youngs in starsailor mode. Genuinely not sure if this is an accidentally great tune they've made en route to making some total fuck-no naffness, or whether they actually KNOW how and why it’s good, and have even better things in store. Intriguez!
Any more for any more? Oh yeah, Jacken Elswyth & Moll. I tend to like my actual folkies to be elderly, if not actually dead, but I understand the necessity of keeping tradition alive, and this duo give a nicely sparse-yet-lush reading of ‘Sweet Lemeny’, which kinda anchors the whole compilation in the soil, and sounds all the more uncanny next to Buhrlap’s crepuscular, Deux Filles-esue ‘Irene’.
Lots to untangle. Folk roots, noo routes!
CD in brown card sleeve with screen-printed image, hand-stamped. Comes with insert and download code. Edition of 100 copies.