11 October 2009

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - 'Ashes Grammar'

How to describe this music? Shards, yes, definitely: shards of glass, crystal fractures. And those fractal pictures that were popular in the nineties. Things that jangle, like bells on cats. Ghosts and shadows. And sun shining on sheeted rain on recently-washed pavements: oiled rainbows that you tread through. Stars collapsing, that sort of thing. And obviously, a sonic cathedral, but an unfinished one: the Sagrada Familia, perhaps? In fact, this is music I’d like to hear in a church. On the right day, with this playing and sun pouring through a stained glass window and maybe just a hint of incense in the air, there’s a danger that through finding magic I might also find god.

Wow, this lot. Last year 'Scribble Mural Comic Journal' swept me away. Live, in some dingy West End hole, they overcame their drab surroundings to endear. It was magical even in the tight corridor full of chatting wankers that is most small London music venues. And now this record transfixes and continues to do so long past the point of novelty.

Layers, clouds, smiles, tears, the soundtrack of dreams: this is a record I want to fall asleep to. I want it messing with my head as I drift off, colouring night visions. I want it still playing when I awake, informing my lucid morning insights.

There's no point dwelling on individual songs, many of them short. ‘Too short to scrobble’, last.fm will tell me when I play some of them, but what do they know? The technology’s wrong then. It's all of piece, and divisions are arbitrary. One fragment folds into another. Voices come and go, just like tides do.

Of course this is all very post-My Bloody Valentine, and there are any number of shoegaze revivalists out there, and bands like Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear at the tip of this particular iceberg are in danger of leaving us slightly bored now, but dammit: no one is doing it better than these people, right now.

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