The Invisible & Divided Sea

staying with compilations, two more to come, possibly more if we get time to squeeze them in, here’s more from that spiffing latest from the Bearsuit folk mentioned here a little earlier, which to recap briefly, titled ‘The Invisible & Divided Sea’ features a gathering of twenty tracks from pop’s most outer fringe realms. In truth, this might well be the finest thing that the Bearsuit folk have cobbled together to date. Always good to start on an upward curve with a spot of Vangelis-esque classicism, for Alexander Stordiau’s elegantly ethereal cinema-scoped ‘Fulfilling Eclipse’ ought to attract the ear of the Burning Witches posse as it manages to simultaneously stride the sound fractures that divide the disciplines of kosmische, cold war electronica and the whole Stranger Things community, beautifully ominous and longingly dream draped in a star glazing symphonic pristine. He features again much later in the track listing with the equally arresting ‘a shadow on the painting’ and into the bargain amid a deeply immersive head tripping mosaic cooks up something that we had to double check the credits to ensure it wasn’t cut by the hand of Biosphere. Popropo, we mentioned on an earlier visit, safe to say we are still recovering from the experience, herewith the bonkers and erratic critical meltdown funk struck ‘freak show – dance 2’ – features Theremin’s which gets a huge thumbs up and lock grooves an insidiously fried and kooky motif that hints of a worrying obsessional fondness for John Lurie. Matters thankfully and radically adjust to normality with the visit of ‘chewing gum’ by Martian Suculture, now this is quite tasty, oozed in a nocturnal noir phrasing and to these ears sounding like a lost would be gem left behind in the 90’s fascination for all things heading out of Bristol, though that said scratch a little deeper and what emerges is a coolly coalesced shy eyed 60’s shimmer tone that could easily pass as a distant cousin to Lake Ruth and Beautify Junkyards. Next up, Bunny and the Invalid Singers serve up ‘Eamon the destroyer’ – this sly to catch quiet gem is adored in all the usual lounge noir tropes, truth be told sounds like a soundtrack orphan from a highly arty 70’s spy flick somewhat lost in the fog of funding and fashion, be warned has moments of fried wooziness. Not at all sure what’s happening on Yponomeutaneko’s ‘Tous Les Rochers’ which I guess typifies the whole Bearsuit remit, again very much cut n’ paste with a nod to John Lurie, it delightfully teeters to a puzzling push n’ pull dynamic that swerves between dreamily dippy Francophile fluffiness and moments of animated agit action, in truth strangely recalls those early Pickled Egg happenings by Pop Off Tuesday. They ‘pop’ up again a little later this time accompanied by Alexandre Ferreira for the ostensibly less skewiff ‘Jour 1191’ – a chamber folk spiritual replete with, is that a, didgeridoo. As with PoProPo, we mentioned Manga Bros in an earlier brief, here they are again with ‘Stoma’ as remodelled by Harold Nono. Much like the martian subculture track, this takes Bearsuit into new found terrains, a ghost spelled slice of sparsely chilled chamber folk softly turned in an adoring quietly hushed bruising which without warning, suddenly opens up mid way through a turns about face instilling an aura of jubilant awe. Perhaps the sets kookiest offerings come from Shinnosuke Sugata whose ‘Wednesday! (January 1992)’ and ‘world travel of the piano tuner’ both arrive impishly dinked in what sounds like toy instruments and an over anxious vocal, the latter oozed and adored by a toy room parade of brass band fanfares and all manner of tiny tot oddness, all very disturbingly delightful. Ah, the Moth Poets as the title might suggest – ‘the shabby gentlemen’- makes for a by and large deliciously crooked and kooky 60’s styled futuristic spy TV theme tune that you’d have expected to be ushered out by the ITC network, that said mid way through it does splinter and fracture to skedaddle off message in a most head tripping way. Another of the many welcome finds on this set are the two contrasting contributions by Petridisch in the shape of ‘Le Sablier’ and ‘small train song home’, the former a sublime slice of frosty minimalist shadow playing of the type that by rights you’d expect to pop up on the esteemed moon glyph imprint, simply think Death and Vanilla in a secret studio summit meeting with Tara King Th. As to the former cut, totally different in style, texture and musicality though nevertheless all the more alluring, just love the locomotive rythmics almost hypnotic and eerie and certainly venturing into youthful Stereolab terrains albeit as though rephrased by Pram. Swords reversed, alas supported by just one solitary track opt for a spot of 90’s nocturnalist ambience with ‘looking for a perfect connection with an imperfect person’ veering very much into Orbital realms. Been an age since both Ageing Children and Kirameki troubled our listening space, the former applying something of an ominous post punk toning to the New Order-esque though re-routed by Bauhaus’ David J ‘sick puppy’ while the latter disturb and delight in equal measure with the dream draped apparition that is ‘the ha happy app’ into the bargain going very old school Cornelius, though this being Kirameki there’s always room to manoeuvre into the odd. Another previously unknown to us, Steeples for People’s serve up the aptly named’nocturnal’- a beautifully crated lunar snow globe sighed in mystery, magic and a murmuring of woozy enchantment. Which leaves us to wrap matters up with Annie and the Station Orchestra’s ‘song for the invalid divers’ – given the season, a perfect farewell given this comes dusted in a twinkling nostalgic aura that wheezes and shuffles with a warming campfire like fuzzy glow at its core.  

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