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crows of the world vol 1

Label: Last Visible Dog

Format: CDx2

Genre: Experimental

In stock

The first in an apparent series of ten (!) compilations on the wonderfully eclectic Last Visible Dog labe,l this sees the musical behemoths of the free folk scene come together in delicious harmony to create music which forms (apparently) a study on the bird family Corvidae. Okay that could very easily be slightly untrue considering these tracks have about as much to do with birds as, well, I have to do with thug-life, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a stunning collection of tunes. The first disc (bear in mind both of these are jam packed with music) begins with an extended exploration into Finish free sound with the Free Players, a band led by the omnipresent Keijo Virtanen (who was recently featured in the Wire). This is the perfect way to begin the record, with submerged string-plucking and grimy atmospherics which set the pace for much of the rest of the album. Pretty soon we're launched into one of the disc's clear highlights, an epic eleven minute composition from the one and only Brad Rose, here operating under his North Sea moniker. Expanding on the skewed back-porch folk we heard on the killer 'Exquisite Idols' here we see rose on full-on raga mode, with eastern percussion and plucked bouzouki building into electrical noise and freakish experimentation. Continuing in the related line of outré oddness comes a track from Western Automatic, the solo project of Zelienople's Matt Christensen. Here we find the improvisational mad-scientist manipulating some kind of modified guitar and what he describes as a 'home made spring percussion box', but to the non-versed among us what it sounds like is lurching, blackened drone, the sort of music which should really be the soundtrack to a Belgian horror movie (the sort that they don't sell in HMV). Elsewhere on the second disc (which is so packed I'm pretty sure you don't get cds that hold more audio...) we're presented by some lesser known acts, but the tracks are frankly flawless from beginning to end, with a clear highlight from Brasil and the Gallowbrothers band, which somehow combines drone thing with shoegaze and comes out with something singular and really quite unusual. I don't even need to tell you about the many Anthony Milton drone projects and Geoff Mullen's turn as Northern Cross (with guitarist Kris Lapke) do I? Just buy it, you can't go wrong...
Cat. number: LVD 099/100
Year: 2007

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