Foxes and Mice

March kicks in with the next instalment in the Southern Records  Latitudes series,  this time  featuring Aidan Baker of Nadja, with Plurals (there are a lot of bands called Plurals out there – this one is the five piece from Brighton) .

“Glass Crocodile Medicine” is the resulting record featuring two tracks – one warm and uplifting, the other more brooding and sinister.

The promo says:

“A gradual unfurling of intricate layers of sound builds and envelopes the listener over “Dead Foxes In The Street”‘s twenty minutes, creating a warm and uplifting aural atmosphere. The second half of the session is an entirely different affair. “Turning Children Into Mice” is a brooding, decidedly sinister beast, weaving a repetitive and increasingly dark threat, until it explodes into a hive of noise, and then slowly and poignantly dies a hero’s death. This is truly a collaboration that makes the most of the musicians touring synchrony.”

A pretty apposite description for two pieces which employ layers of sounds to create a wall of ambience in the spirit of  say Cluster or indeed early Tangerine Dream  without the busy arpeggiating. There is nothing specifically ground-breaking or particularly novel here – just exemplary playing within the idiom to create a most enjoyable listening experience. There is some interesting  variety though with, for example, the use of repeated percussion from 13 minutes of the first track  begins to create more of a “noise” feel than an ambient one but this soon falls back to the pastoral feel. As indicated in the promo the second piece is a little more trenchant with searing guitar lines overlapping over anthropomorphic synthesis and the occasional vocal howl.

Two great examples of minimalist ambient synthesis and guitar work.

Baker Plurals

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