Tag Archives: post-rock

Record of the week: Richard Youngs – Arrow Ltd Preserved Sound LP/CD

 

This only arrived this morning but I have lived with it on constant rotation all day whilst sorting out the large delivery of noodles* that were also delivered at the same time, as well as a few hundred dreary 7″s that I have been putting off sorting for weeks. When you read the description of the album:

Recorded especially for Preserved Sound in Hebden​ Bridge, ​Arrow is sound of Richard Youngs alone at the piano, embellished with sparse drums and an old organ. This collection of solo improvisations is all about capturing the moment – that piano and that afternoon in Hebden Bridge.
“I sat down at the piano and just played,” says Richard. “No preconceptions, nothing worked out. I wasn’t trying to achieve anything other than to enjoy playing the piano.” “There was also an organ in the room, so there are touches of that. I then took these back to Glasgow and knocked it into shape – a few overdubs, nothing drastic.”

you could be forgiven for feeling that the album is as much a noodle-fest as my kitchen but, in reality, it is far away from that (thankfully!).  There are  layer upon layer of sounds, instruments and harmonies on top of the piano improvisations and it is these other elements that keep the level of interest high – and the level of enjoyment even higher. It occasionally sounds thrown together haphazardly, but this is no bad thing – as it keeps you guessing as to what exactly is gonna happen next and rarely follows a linear pattern that one would normally expect from similarly ‘improvised’ piano based albums.

 

It also sounds like he was having a lot of fun making it.

This is yet another fantastic release from Preserved Sound and follows their normal high degree of artistic quality control of both the music and the hand assembled packaging. Limited to 300 numbered copies on both Vinyl & CD, this one promises to disappear pretty rapidly as it’s such a magnificent piece of work.

At times (especially during side 2) it sounds like 2 Steve Reich albums are playing at the same time whilst somebody sits in the corner gently wrestling with a piano – and you can’t get a much higher recommendation than that can you?

 

 

 

*Re: Noodles:    i’m not running a chinese takeaway or anything – I just eat a lot of noodles and stumbled upon a fantastic website catering to all my noodle-based needs and ended up buying 70+ packets from them. Go here if you’re interested:

https://www.orientalmart.co.uk

Record of the Week: Bark Psychosis: Black Meat Orig UK 2005 Ltd NEAR MINT 10″

Ah, Bark Psychosis – the band for which the term ‘Post Rock’ was invented and the band who introduced me to the art of silence in music.

I first discovered the majestic music on the B side of a Spacemen 3 flexi in the late ‘80s and, to be honest, I thought they were a bit shit – noise for noise sake and, as a huge fan of Swans, they sounded like pretenders to the noise throne.

It was the 4th single that blew my tiny mind though. ‘Scum’ was a 21-minute-long track where very little happens for a very long time, and where the acoustics of the crypt (where it was recorded) are as important as the sparse instrumentation. It remains, to this day, one of my all-time favourite pieces of music.

I saw them live only once, just after their sublime debut album (‘Hex’) and it was on the sad day that Labour’s John Smith died (I remember distinctly that that they introduced ‘Blue’ as ‘Blues for John Smith’). They played by the light of a Super-8 projector and made a huge noise that sounded nothing like the LP they were promoting. They were outstanding.

This record was released 11 years after the aforementioned gig, when the band were mostly a solo project of Graham Sutton, but still displays how utterly inventive they/he was – trumpets and jazz drumming and half-heard vocals. Limited to 500 copies, and I’ve got 3 of ‘em…