Festive Shit: Part 1

Sometimes Christmas gets in the way of lots of things, such as having spare money, free time, decent television etc. Unfortunately there also seems to be a whole heap of awesome music dropping all around the place so I've decided to treat myself (and you) to a whole heap of goodness, despite the detrimental effect on buying presents for my friends and family. Don't ever say that I don't do anything for you.

Ambivalence Avenue turned out to be one of my favourite surprises of the year I snapped up Bibio's latest release The Apple and the Tooth as soon as it was available. The first four tunes are a slight departure from Ambivalence Avenue, his sound seems to becoming more layered and crowded but richer for it, however the true selling point of the record is the all-star remix line-up that follows. Gems amongst these are the Eskmo remix of Dwcan, which incorporates the San Fransiscan's swinging, atmospheric flex into the original's dark and creeping textures to great effect; an incredible Gentlemen Losers' remix of Haikuesque, taking on a beautiful, melancholy edge, before a haunting organ comes in to raise all the hairs on the back of your neck; and Bibio's own remix of "the palm of your wave", which winds gypsy-folk fairground strains sinuously around the original vocal like a hypnotic fortune teller pickpocketing your ears. It may not be a full album release but it's certainly worth that money you were saving for a fibre optic Christmas tree.

Back in London the Grievous Angel
Redux of Margins Music has dropped on Keysound and it's fucking awesome. It's comforting to see that rather than adopting the tried and tested methods of mashing together two tunes into one catchy monstrosity, Grievous Angel has deftly interwoven his source material into an entirely new piece of music which is worthy of it's predecessor's name and reputation. In the same regard he avoided the easy option of simply rearranging the original tracks into one continuous mix and instead produced a living, breathing hybrid monster. It's almost as though London ate Margins Music and let it digest for a while before exhaling the whole mixture in one hour long episode of sublime flatulence. Snatches of vocal bubble up through the blended textures, the drums chatter amongst themselves and whole neighbourhoods breeze by in an instant leaving only a lingering suggestion of their existence. If anything this Redux surpasses the original in it's attempt to capture the sound and essence of the fringes of the London scene, although I will concede that I may be getting slightly carried away here.

Something I've been after for a while now is
The invisible Lodger, a collab between the outstanding Various Production and morose Scottish poet Gerry Mitchell. I'm not going to lie, parts of this album could drive a fragile mind into a helpless spiral of depression and self harm, but for those of a sunnier disposition this is a masterful combination of stark, brooding electronics and subtly affecting spoken word. Mitchell's delivery swings from eye gouging misery to a playful almost singsong delivery, belieing the morbid undercurrent of the subject matter. Accordingly the production echoes the tone of each poem, at times overwhelming the grumbling, shambolic verse with blurred synths and undulating static, at others beautifully complimenting the lilting Scottish cadences with typical VP pinpoint accuracy. Unfortunately there never seems to be the right time to listen to it, I tried to pop it on in the car with the missus the other day but she was having none of it, probably best left to headphones on an evening train ride through a bleak industrial cityscape

Right, there's more but frankly fuck this, I'm off to a secret bush rave. No time for grendelcaking, I'll post again when I'm not climbing trees and singing like a squirell.

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