Last observed weaving their mercurial artistry as part of a shared split set with the equally engaging Shinri in the early thawing spring months of 2006. The shy shade preferring and reclining Beatglider are these days something of a rare exquisite turntable treat who seemingly spread their wares so sparsely that when they do deem to grace us with their presence its an event to be savoured.
‘Witches’ is an inspired collection of songs seemingly sounding like no one and yet strangely sounding like everyone – well everyone worth sounding like and here we are talking Mercury Rev (none more so than on the way the out there and strangely warping latter career Quickspace fused with a pop minded Sonic Youth like signatures of the title cut ‘witches‘ are flipped on their head through a perpetually evolving maze like overture of dream sequences, slacker-esque mirages and a buoyantly optimistic and radiance emitting 60‘s dappled west coast vibed opulence), Flaming Lips, the Crimea and Genaro (especially on the sweetly honeycombed and delicately brushed parting cut ’natures arms’) in so much that they just delight in going off and doing their own thing without so much as a hint of fashion wagon chasing. Perhaps that’s why in our humbled view its been one of the most rewarding albums we’ve had the pleasure of hearing since last years ’Secrets of the Witching Hour’ full length by the aforementioned the Crimea and the most seductive and unassuming outing we’ve come across since Ooberman’s ’running girl’.
Ushered in by a hollowed presence that twists, at turns between being both mellowed and tender and hymnal and tortured (best appreciated on the hushed and frail ‘wasteful is love‘ with its hauntingly orbiting looped rustics and snow globed and homely monochromatic cinematic aura – think of a twinkling and reclining the Earlies surveying the sparse landscapes of Tex La Homa’s ‘dazzle me with transience’), ’Witches’ is a divinely daintily and demurring spectacle of glacial majesty, longingly choked by its forlorn and tearful subtleties and hitherto crested with peaks of caressing jubilant euphoria, its craft lushly bled through within a myriad of generic echoes that arc, evolve and shimmer between elements of cosmic folk, shoe gaze and post rock.
The melodies applied with aching precision impact softly leaving lingering scars, here you’ll be serenaded by the streamlined murmur of the svelte frosted curvatures of the lonesome glide of the magically fleeting lip biting reflection of ‘where time stands still’ and the measured flawed grace of the eerily beguiling show stealing English psyche panoramic pastiches of the unravelling ’dark dark woods’, a breathtaking trip wired odyssey that veers into the same fractured trajectories of Barrett’s reality dissolving ’vegetable man’ though here pulled, tethered and scorched and dipped amid a fragmented lysergic chemistry that suggests the abstractly wired and weird mindset of ‘hail to a thief’ era Radiohead eclipsing the early career Floyd-esque obsessions of Porcupine Tree atop a hallucinogenic tapestry woven from freakish Beatles-esque mirages.
Of course the tracks that pepper corned the grooves of their aforementioned split with Shinri feature here in all their absolute glory, ’the rattlesnake’ still sounds monumental, a swirling blistered blues epic bleached with howls of dust scarred spaghetti western styled pines that imagine the lazy eyed free spirited casualness of Pavement relocated to the arid plains of the mighty GSYBE whose turbulence and sheer force of harmonic nature finds itself honed and shackled by the elegance of Morricone with a certain Kevin Shields in the background pulling the sublime sheen like symphonic strings. In marked contrast the humbling and heavenly sounding ’lights on the water’ perhaps the sets most arresting moment by far is endowed with a bracing head bowed forlorn bruised beauty, the glassy spectral arcs of the celestial shimmers tearfully flutter and flicker braiding the emotion shredding stratospheric halos with a hurtful tear stained consequence – numbing stuff.
Key tracks –
Dark dark woods
first aired – November 2008