Wednesday, 11 November 2015

BABs - The Vulture Watches (Loop Records)


Improv! That's short for 'improvement', which this is - compared to what? - most modern music I come across, flitting through first tracks (as you do) on albums to which my attention is drawn by people, you know, those people I don't actually know but exist in my life online - them...

Drinking in Droplets, Blooming with Bats? That's a fine title right there. It happens to be on The Vulture Watches, this album by Olie Brice (double bass), James Allsopp (bass clarinet) and Alex Bonney (electronics)....

...a bass being thwacked...clarinet quivering...dare I say 'hovering'? Just like a vulture? Perhaps not. More titles: Ant, Termite, Scorpion (The Vulture Watches)...Coyote, Moon Thief...Bleached Bone, Shimmering Haze...Mezozoic Yawn...Mojave Drag...you get the theme, the idea...and isn't it great that a trio have created a 'concept album' that works? Not that it would without the titles because nobody's singing about coyotes, bleached bones or vultures watching...I don't know if anyone ever has...but I can't help picturing scenes from Westerns in which a character crawls through the desert, lips cracked, skin parched from the relentless sun...or the classic signifier that someone's dead out there (cut to vultures circling)...

...I suspect Ennio Morricone would love this. If I had his email address I'd send it to him. It has the spirit, the attitude, the edginess of his best Horror scores...without resorting to horror clich├ęs..the vultures (clarinet) is ever-present...the portentous mood, especially on Mezozoic Yawn, is magnificent...

...balance, BABs strike it perfectly...each member's contribution finely woven as one...the electronics a subtle texture...the bass, when needed, as strong as Mingus in a bad mood...exemplary...

Released around Novemebr 21 and available at a very reasonable price from here 


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