Sunday, 21 February 2010

Something Excellent...

Manchester Tim Hecker support 20th May::: :: :

Another review just

Simon Scott – Navigare (album review)

"Although his name may not be immediately familiar, Simon Scott was the drummer of the seminal band Slowdive. Since he left that band, he formed and played in one other (Televise) while collaborating with the likes of Machinefabriek, Jasper TX, and others. He also runs a small label called Kesh Recordings, which has put out titles by the likes of Sebastian Roux and Mark Templeton.

Despite all that work, Navigare is the debut solo full-length from Scott, and given his work both with Slowdive and his collaborations, it sounds somewhat like one would expect. It’s slow burning with lots and lots of reverb, with guitars that swirl and drums that sound like they’re being played at the far corner of a warehouse. It’s noisy at times, but never incredibly dissonant, with some songs that are so gauzy and thick that run into a gorgeous power ambience sort of realm.

“Introduction Of Cambridge” kicks off the release and is a stunning opener. Breathing with some pillowy exhalations during the first half, it slowly coalesces into a piece with a pulse, sliding multiple layers together in a beautiful way that peels every little bit of emotion out of the slowly-ascending bass and high frequency shiver.

The rest of the album follows suit in a similar way, with cuts that pull in little elements from loads of different places. There’s a little bit of the crackling ambience of Tim Hecker, some slow-grinding shoegaze warmth that reminds one a bit of a subdued Kevin Shields, and a couple touches of noisy aggression that may have been inspired by the fellows he’s worked with over the past couple of years.

As happens on many albums, one of the cuts that I gravitate towards most on the release is also the most pop-oriented. “The ACC” runs just under 4 minutes in length, and after a short clattering beginning, it builds into what is basically a trudging crescendo that only gains in strength as additional layers pile on.

Given his continued work over the years, it’s not a surprise that Navigare is a debut album that feels so assured. It’s melodic and textured and a bit noisy at times, but given the time of the season, this is perfect music for cold temperatures and snow storms".

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