Monday, July 2, 2012
Slow Place Like Home - There go the lights again EP
Originally published on http://wearenoise.com/index.php/2012/06/slow-place-like-home-there-go-the-lights-again-ep/
More superior ambient electronica delivered with gusto (a technical term) from the Atlantic North West. Meet Keith Mannion from Donegal, who marshals synths, drum machines and samplers but keeps them sounding warm and organic. His Coastal hubs for chivalry EP in January made a very good impression on me and, if anything, this one is even better.
‘You’re so square you’ve got corners’ kicks things off on quite a bright uptempo note, high pitched snares and laser gun drum fills under intertwining synth lines carrying the middle ground, until it gathers its forces with the extremely hummable refrain “you’re not awake”. Speaking of hummable, the bassline is a whole hook unto itself.
‘Selkie’ we’ve mentioned previously, a child’s spoken intro of “bzzz said the bumble bee” prefacing a gorgeous, pastoral instrumental over a dainty breakbeat, using flute and harpsichord samples to great effect. Summer chillout music for children you’d think will grow up to be discerning.
The Wanderley Wagon-referencing ‘Dr Astro goes ballistic’ changes tone again, with drone and 4/4 bass drum giving way to another winning major 7th chord sequence. ‘No country for old music’ brings some atmospheric singing to the party, before the stand-out robotic vocal of ‘Shady Jane’ manages the neat trick of conveying human warmth and tenderness.
We’re back in pastoral territory for the closing track, ‘Rearrange the seachange’, a blissful drift and hum with more warm drums and stare-at-the-sky strings.
This is heart-on-its-sleeve electronic music, with moments of genuine emotion. That’s not to say it doesn’t pay attention to arrangements though – the signs are that these are meticulously put together. And there are tunes to fall in love with, or even to. Although it takes account of cross currents in jazz and folktronica – and would put you in mind occasionally of Air, for example – it has its roots in kosmische. And what a beautiful thing it is.