Never

Never
Never
Never

With this new album (mini-album...whatever…) Jolly Discs confirms its position in the front rank of new-ish London labels. We’ve been puffing up this unassuming cassette-oriented imprint since hearing Special Occasion’s remarkable The Word last year (the full flowering of a talent we first glimpsed on a killer 12” for Born Free), and tapes from Enchante and RAP have added to the story that will one day be a LEGEND. The common thread across these various projects/releases is label head Guy Gormley, whose production is a thrilling update of classic DIY pop with influences from deep house/techno, three generations of London soundsystem music, and an understated, YMO-ish synthetic sheen. Never is a collaboration between him and vocalist/songwriter Sam Bardsley, and its a work of exquisite London (although tbh Bardsley is Berlin via Wales... we're projecting here): vocals combine the salty melancholy of a Robert Wyatt with a very post-2010 bedroom R&B sensibility. The lyrics are great – sincere but self-deprecating, clever but not overreaching, romantic but not over-egged - and I honestly think Never have made one of the great subterranean pop records of our time, with a sound and mood all its own.  Hard to pick a favourite, but the song-for-an-empty-head comedown consolation of ‘Love, Truth, Lies’ is a particular favourite, while 'The Park' is a classic of paranoia in civic space, coming over like New Order stripped to the bone, a heart-stopping frieze of phased guitar, simple synth motif, thickset soundsystem bass and phased brass. Gormley wrings so much feeling and eloquence out of his drum programs, he's a producer who knows that dub is allied to groove and is about how things sit, and move, in space: not just afterthought echo and delay. The whole thing is beautifully produced and mixed, making an absolute virtue of its humble, minimal instrumentation rather than hiding behind a lo-fi fug.  Just so, so good… just when you think everyone making music is a solipsistic potato incapable of original thought or action, along comes something as eccentric and accomplished yet humble and SOULFUL as this. As life-affirming as those first puny rays of Spring sunshine. 

 

 

£5.99

Relateds Products from Low Company

Circulation
Kashual Plastik
Monarchy
7th Storey Projects
Parts 1 (reissue)
Accidental Jnr
The Deepest Sound of Blaze
Groovin Recordings
Bank of England
A Colourful Storm
What!
Jolly Discs
You / King Of The Beats
Dom & Roland Productions
Among The Methods
Great Circles
Retta
Päästevest
SUNLP0101
Domestic Exile
Aus
Static Age
Drux
Static Age
Bombing EP
Super Rhythm Trax
Emancipator
Musiques Electroniques Actuelles
Serpent Power
Good Morning Tapes
Mirvariates
The Trilogy Tapes
No Love Lost
Sealed Records
Swimming
Factory Benelux
The Safest Dub
Berceuse Heroique
Flagellation
Emotional Response