archiv: dreams of tall buildings


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Dreams of Tall Buildings

Live at CBSO Centre 2001


Simply beautiful, not only in terms of the sounds but also the packaging. This is another of those ultra limited 100 press runs from Bearos, replete with individually hand drawn CD designs and card packaging held together with an embroidered strip and house in brown paper wrapping so as to give the impression of some kind of long lost artefact, so wonderful it looks that you feel guilty for opening it, but then DOTB have always been known for their close attention to the most minutiae elements of their releases in fact there last limited release on Victory Garden (a cassette entombed in wax) to this day still remains unopened and with it, unheard.

Dream of Tall Buildings are perhaps a band who, to those in the know, should need no introduction, like their live performances no two releases are alike everything is fair game as far as sounds go, so that on occasions their creative expressions are borne through swooning tempestuous atmospheric epics that bleed through collages of samples and organic treatments at others they furrow through deliberately harsh minimalist noise squalls that test the listeners patience to the limit. Formed in 1999 the trio have brought their ‘conceptual art’ to the lucky few, limited releases curiously (though interestingly) packaged has been their mainstay. This recording finds them in the comfortable surroundings of the wooden panelled fluted roofed practice space of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as part of the city’s Arts Fest weekend way back in 2001.

Combining the sounds of guitars, a grand piano, a percussive typewriter to their usual web of loops and samples DotB prove undaunted by the surroundings and set about harnessing a cosily tranquil collection of classically touched arrangements that has only been subtlety suggested in their recorded output so far. Listening wise it’s a wonderful spectacle with all the natural characteristics of each of the compositions bleeding and blurring into each other so that the overall tone dips between one of ethnicity and elegance. Opening to the lulling ‘Lakeside’ it doesn’t take the trio long to immerse themselves into a softer rendition of their art, the complex tribal textures and unusual time signatures provided for within the climatically stifling ‘Floodhorse’ build ominously block by block into a dense patchwork that recalls (strangely) Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ yet soon tastefully melts away into the haunting evensong ‘Can I tell you tomorrow’ which touches casually Roy Budd’s ‘Get Carter’ soundtrack replete with a truly eerie creeping cast while on ‘thethingyousawinCanadawasaCloud’ they magnificently utilise the feel for suspense pretty much with the same gusto as Morricone. Yet it’s the parting track ‘Approachable Light’ that pulls gently on the heart strings, as tenderly beautiful as anything we’ve ever heard, celestially strings and piano motifs sway gently to sooth the emotions while in the distance a typewriter (yes you heard right) furiously clicks away. Simply breath-taking stuff.


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