Seti The First – The wolves of summerland (Paper Palace Records)
A second album of thrilling instrumentals from the Dublin-based duo of Kevin Murphy and Thomas Haugh, whose first album Melting cavalry still stands as one of the best instrumental albums of this century (at least).
The main instruments are ostensibly cello and percussion but even at that not used in ways you might expect. The cello in particular is brought into unusual territory with bends, slaps and scrapes combining brilliantly with longer bowed notes to make a fascinating sonic landscape.
‘Pig iron prophet’ starts with a furious double time backbeat over staccato effects while trumpet and bass drones build the intrigue.
There’s the wonderful widescreen cinematic atmosphere of ‘Kingdom of crooked mirrors’, an orchestra of zithers and strings played out over a marching drumbeat.
The swooning chamber pop of ‘Century flowers’ and ‘Glass soldiers parade’.
The noirish hum of ‘A mechanical Turk’, the genius deployment of high hats and cello harmonics during ‘In the Valley of the Limbs’, the dreamy reverie of the title track, the sublime Morricone-esque swirls of ‘Red admirals’.
The music dips between classical and folk styles, between intimate gestures and grand scales, always intriguing, always meticulously arranged.
It is a triumph of an album and this is a band you deserve to have in your life.