Been meaning to mention this for ages, its been somewhat cursed by us having lost not one but two skeletal guidelines that we were working into a review – this being due to laptop technicals. With that I’m afraid to say that this particular release is now sold out at source. A beautiful looking thing it is to, pressed up on swirly clear wax and arriving replete with an accompanying CD – all limited to just 300 copies. Now Lux Harmonium ought to ring a familiar bell among subscribers to these missives for we waxed fondly at the appearance of his debuting ‘the bones you break’ 7 inch a little while back to which was met upon being placed on our hi-fi by swoons aplenty. Lux Harmonium or Luke Jones as he’s known on his passport is one of the rare breed, an aural alchemist crafting his style plucked from age old tongue whose roots conjure and tap finitely to the very essence of English folklore, all at once magical and mournful, uplifting and sorrowful, Jones’ intricate rustic detailing is blessed in a rich proven bloodline that is as old as the colourfully vivid and beautified nature green land from out of which they are inspired for this is an impeccable thing of hushed beauty. Out via the celebrated Static Caravan imprint, who impress with each passing release and who unlike most of their peers seem casually content to set the agenda rather than bandwagon jump any passing fad or generic snobbishness and have in recent times become a by word for the eclectic. And so to Lux Harmonium, a two track 7 inch single within which is housed the album ’XVI.I’ – the lead out cut ’soap and silk’ richly echoes to the finest Caravans of yesteryear tunng principally being immediately called to mind, pressed upon a lilting bed of murmuring shimmers of pastoral flurries there’s a warmth and sense of intimate effervescent jubilance quietly stirring and shyly chiming to a mellowed framing recalling the artistry that adored and adorned odd fellow casino’s debuting full length some years ago coded as it is in something rich and delicately luxuriant evoking something of the wild, the untamed and the free to its beautified bow. Dreamy and tender ’Peggy come home’ plays peek a boo within the mystical backwaters of Summerisle, softly glazed in a folk trimming surrendered and caressed in a kaleidoscopic magicalia it tumbles and trembles to a spell crafted enchantment teased to a timeless tapestry hued in a mysteriously spectral spring time twilight aura. Those of you having subscribed and found yourselves summarily seduced in recent times by David A Jaycock’s ‘10 songs’ set – again via Static – may well find much to adore here, the artistry exquisite ‘XVI.I’ is comprised of ten cuts to which unto reveal the full alluring spectrum of Mr Jones’ craft. Here amid the obvious reference points of Fahey (on the quite remarkable nylon string chirps of ‘cheek by jowl‘), Jansch and to a lesser extent Buckley (recalled on the undulating winter cooled reflective tremble of the hurting ’here and whole’) admirers of the more intimate moments of Lupen Crook’s formidable back catalogue may find themselves smitten not least by way of tracks such as ’vexated’ with its push rush wood chipped hoedown stylising and the ghostly Victoriana shanty that is eloquent and elegant ‘the approaching of the great white’. Those preferring their sounds as though cut adrift and sailing out into the wilderness are advised to stop by ‘the nocturnal gardener’ which braided by poetic portraits is faintly smoked by a lushly resonant and detached bitter sweet opine that silently nods to Robert Wyatt. Elsewhere the softly beguiled and feint touch of delta folk blues that weaves through the grooves of ’shady lane’ serviced deftly by the countrified dimples of some nimble lightly plucked fretwork all simply arrested by a sun falling afterglow indicating a maturity and classicism rarely heard in the work of his peers. Just when you think you have the measure of the blighter he digs deep and pulls out ‘St David’s Hill’ to bring the set to a crooked close and in so doing draws from a magically rare psych folk well the type of which frequented by that other unheralded alchemist Paul Roland.
Here’s the video that accompanies ‘Peggy come home’