It’s funny to think that this is Alexander Tucker’s first Latitudes session, as he’s always felt like a part of the Southern family. From being one of the driving forces behind the first release on Latitudes (Ginnungagap) to providing artwork, playing on the same bills or collaborating with musicians in our stable, Alex has also felt like a fellow walking the same path as us, and has been top of our list to do a session since we started the series.
What Alex does is pretty close to musical alchemy. Carefully constructing and layering fully orchestrated pieces from deceptively simple beginnings using guitar, mandolin, cello and most importantly his voice. It’s his voice which has always set him apart from other psych/folk explorers for me: wonderfully English and simultaneously otherworldly, something of his humble and extremely thoughtful nature comes through his self-harmonising and often wordless refrains. Along with a playful sense of humour you can sense something quite melancholy at its core.
Live, watching Alex loop and build his work is never less than fascinating and this studio session has succeeded in capturing some of this subtle magic. And, as in many of his live performances, Alex has been well-served by the people with whom he collaborates. Here, Duke Garwood’s clarinet weaves around the brooding, building tracks, and towards slow-boiling crescendos while Harvey Birrell’s characteristically well-judged production never spills over into the consciousness of the listener.
The Latitudes session with Decomposed Orchestra makes a beautiful companion piece to Alex’s excellent albums on ATP – the open ‘anything goes’ format sees him explore much longer compositions and pushing himself in a more psychedelic / freak-out direction. This recording will no doubt serve as an important documentation of this point in the evolving opus of this incredibly talented performer and songwriter.
Neverest Songs is the alias of Margate based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Luke Twyman, who is set to release his debut, double A-side single Paper Trumpets/Softly, Quite Softly, Quite Softly through independent label Tea At Yours.
Initially working in a humble home studio set-up, early 2005, Twyman began to harness his talent, before starting work on his debut album Small Voyages, in late 2008. Undertaking a small voyage of his own, Twyman travelled to New York to record the piano parts, with friend Rick Warren and by late 2009 twenty-four songs were complete, and the final thirteen tracks selected. Small Voyages was released as part of the Unlabel catalogue, in early 2010.
BR worked with Adam Kriney of La Otracina and Owl Xounds on the Owl Xounds/Family Battle Snake split cassette back in May 2007, and its great to have this raging free jazz improv psyche out bunch back on Blackest Rainbow again for this awesome LP.
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…
Folk music derives its origins from venerable working class traditions and its name reflects this. Notoriously difficult to define, the genre’s porous borders have helped to keep it fresh and ever relevant, with such a wide range of artists as Bob Dylan, Joanna Newsom, Nick Drake and Bonnie Prince Billy all falling somewhere within Folk’s purview.
This latest release, brought to us by the prestigious Bedroom Community can also be defined as folk music but, following in the tradition of the finest material in the genre, Puzzle Muteson’s latest full-length album throws a lot more into the pot too. Little seems to be known about the enigmatic artist based in the Isle of Wight, other than he is a singer-songwriter originally from London who has a penchant for melancholic guitar and a talent which is self-evident. Choosing to remain anonymous could be seen as an affectation to some, but so sincere are the songs within En Garde, that the lack of information on the artist forces us to focus solely on the music, which is probably for the best, since it would be foolish indeed to miss a moment of this carefully crafted masterpiece.