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The Stranger

Bleaklow

Label: History Always Favours The Winners

Format: LPx2

Genre: Electronic

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Fully remastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. One of the most destitute and absorbing albums in Leyland Kirby’s canon is finally given a much needed vinyl pressing, following on from its initial CD release 6 years ago. ‘Bleaklow’ is harrowing from the start, the opening "Something To Do With Death” reverberating dread via layers of unstable, radiant drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. ’Solemn Dedication’ adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it’s on 'Indefinite Ridge’ that things really take a turn towards that eerie, destabilising sound Kirby can do so well, like a standout BoC vignette pounded by the rattle of industrial machinery malfunctioning in the background; it’s at once deeply unsettling and oddly comforting. "A Melody Drags Me Back” recalls the spirit of Kirby’s best known productions as The Caretaker, except in place of those old 78’s you get just the vaguest hint of life and colour beneath the endless layers of sonic unease. The album ends with 'Ominous Sunset’, an incredible 6 minute coda that’s perhaps best compared to Kirby’s 'Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was’ set, sounding like Vangelis’ score for Bladerunner aged and degraded yet still somehow conveying all it’s retro-futuristic romance. It’s an astonishing ending to one of Kirby’s finest albums.

Details
Cat. number: HAFTW016
Year: 2014
Notes:

First ever vinyl edition of the 2008 album from The Stranger, aka James Leyland Kirby / The Caretaker. First 250 copies pressed on transparent yellow vinyl

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Bleaklow (2LP)
LPx2 | €24.00

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