This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.
In 2007, the Dorset-based multi-instrumentalist and founder of the Dorset Paeans record label released, ‘Plays Victorian Machine Music’ – an EP made up entirely from sounds generated by antiquated parlor machines and music boxes. Tanner has also played as a member of Pantaleimon, Directorsound, United Bible Studies and with Sharron Kraus live. Glen Johnson founded the Anglo-French “ghost-rock” unit, Piano Magic, in 1996 and since then has released over 30 records on a multitude of different labels, from 4AD to Morr Music to Important Records, including collaborations with Low, Vashti Bunyan, Cornershop and Tarwater. In 2004, his debut album as Textile Ranch, ‘Bird Heart In Wool,’ a portfolio of abstract, melodic electronica, was released on the Very Friendly label. A further Textile Ranch album will see the light of day in Spring 2009. Tanner and Johnson may have met on the internet but their collaboration here relied greatly on Her Majesty’s Royal Mail service, swapping files by post, adding, subtracting, remoulding, magnifying found sounds and home recordings. Angele David-Guillou, a regular contributor to Piano Magic recordings and chanteuse with her own project, Klima (s/t album on Peacefrog, 2007) generously guests on vocals and other instruments here, whilst the mysterious Ms Autumn Grieve adds further voicings.
This one-off collaboration marks the 51st release for Make Mine Music, the pioneering British independent label that is owned, financed and maintained by its artists. ‘The Rest, I Leave To The Poor’ comes as a strictly ltd edition, letter-pressed sleeve of recycled chipboard with red metallic ink finish. Essential Listening!
As a sort of pantheist, or at least an artist who finds great stories hiding in the vast visual subtleties of nature – Subtle Trees is a classical music collage as much as it is an homage to classical music. It’s core is created through sounds gathered in the owl hours by sampling ancient instruments whose cores were derived from the trees of nature. These sounds were layered like lichen on an ancient pantheistic sculpture.
The CD features a fantastically detailed drawing from Bleeding Heart Narrative, folding out around the gatefold thick-card sleeve in a two colour print.
All copies come with a 12-panel foldout insert, and the 200 limited copies also include an extra two-colour numbered screenprint, and are also hand-numbered and sewn together.
With The Rules of Another Small World, M. Ostermeier has arrived at an elegant voice – otherworldly and strangely beautiful, much like the desolate Taiwanese San-Zhr Pod Village gracing the album cover.
While elements of electroacoustic, modern classical, jazz, glitch, drone, ambient, and even lounge weave in and out of the record’s eleven compositions, The Rules of Another Small World is the converse of an eclectic collection of songs.
Includes a 40 minute bonus CD, The Hilton, featuring previously unreleased material: It might not have been so long since Jeff Witscher released his debut ‘proper’ album under the Rene Hell moniker, but he’s kept himself busy in the interim all the same…