winter solstice

another superb release, again available on one of those pay what you like options, is ‘winter solstice’. A various artist collection assembled for your discerning ear by Manchester folk Vanguardista records. As ever just a brief peek on this occasion to get your listening appetite a whetted for here an eleven strong gathering settles to pay celebration to this natural midwinter spectacle. Sprayed with musical gems, mostly from artists who for whatever reason have, thus far, managed to escape our usually well-heeled and ever observant radar. You can expect a more detailed reading of this collection to appear in our extended Christmas missive next month, for now let us take you gently by the hand to sample some of the delights within, starting our account with opener ‘garden of trees’ by Phillip Stephen Allen, whose measured melodic poetry found here, is arrested in a quietly alluring and silently joyful turn of phrasing that delicately conveys hints of Sakamoto amid its free spirited and frost tipped emotional yearn. Must admit, we here are quite adoring of Diane Marie Kloba’s slyly snaking ‘he lights up’ its fraying slacker-esque turning emitting a subtle sinister shadow to the proceedings that curiously hits something of a Television-esque grooving. Elsewhere, Cloud Waste and the Calf serve up the enigmatic isolationism that is ‘power cuts December 1979’ – between you and me, something that seductively inhabits the same strange sonic worlds as frequented by say, the Heartwood Institute and the Burning Witches imprint and with that purred with both a crystalline electro cooling that’s at once yesterday, now and tomorrow, ends a bit abruptly I minded to say with a hint of disappointment. Last up for this brief visit, John 3:16 with ‘Alcyone’ – haven’t we mentioned this previously, perhaps not. A sub 9 nine-minute magic land mysterio typified with all the usual tropes we’ve come to love and expect from Mr Gerber here magnificently spooled and stirred into a deeply mesmeric masterclass in poise and precision whose brooding beauty had us much in mind of both Yellow6 and the Corrupting Sea yet whose parched grace fall seductively swirls, snakes and sighs to the prowling perfection of a slow to burn Godspeed epic fore telling.

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