Saturday, 3 October 2009

Brocken Spectre - Annalogue (Atol Records)

Oh the joy of having a free Saturday morning. Time to sort through the teetering piles of CDs on the living room floor and have a listen to neglected discs. Amongst the bargs from Fopp and the stuff from the beardy man at work, there’s stuff to review. Hmm… none of it detains me for long until I get to ‘Brocken Spectre’ by Annalogue on Atol Records (vinyl-only offshoot of Ankst). This is Ann Matthews of Ectogram (and once of Welsh legends Fflaps) doing solo stuff; spookily beautiful, soothingly creepy, avant eerie stuff. Songs unfurl and glimmer, crawl out of corners, sprout unexpected wings, circle lazily and pounce.

The songs are sparse but richly textured. There are very few actual drum-beats here, percussion is formed from drips and taps, clicks and snaps. Indeed, ‘Corn Curl’ is built on two rocks being clacked together and a Biro clicking on and off. ‘Tony Wilson’ ticks and chimes along curlicued with trills of clarinet, ‘Sudden Desert’ ebbs and wooshes, Ann’s voice woven through the swell of sound. The album drifts in and engulfs you in a shivering fog, an unexpected otherworldly trip on a Saturday morning.

No comments: