Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Music Review: The Soundcarriers - Entropicalia

(Ghost Box GBX020)
With the possible exception of the Study Series collection of 7" singles the Ghost Box label has for the most part based itself around the work of 3 artists - Jim Jupp's Belbury Poly, Julian House's The Focus Group, Jon Brooks' Advisory Circle interspersed around these four have been oocasional releases from Pye Corner Audio, Mount Vernon Arts Lab and former Broadcast keyboardist Roj (Stevens) and it is to his old band (amongst others) to which thoughts are immediately turned once play is pressed.

A quick search tells me that this is The Soundcarriers fourth album which means I now have 3 more albums I need to track down and inflict upon my long suffering bank account; particularly while the sun is shining. 'Entropicalia' is a joyous and groovy mash of motorik rhythms, sunshine pop, space age psychedelia and Gallic charm. I mean no slight when I say the The Soundcarriers - really as their name implies - hold their musical pedigree in full view; bands such as The Free Design, Stereolab, Can, Sallyangie, and more make for interesting reference points but truthfully only that as what we get is an amalgam that easily holds it's own.

There are some moments of sublime pop on here but for me it's when the band loosen their grip a little and start to open up during the album's latter half that it all truly comes together as the instruments start to soar finding endless clear blue skies on 'This is Normal'.

It is a little step outside the proverbial box for the label but one that has paid off in spades by finding a band that wholly complements the Ghost Box roster without holding themselves up in comparison. It's a playful nostalgia for the sci-fi pop of a promised future that never arrived and it's a hell of a lot of fun.

For the last 11 years Wonderful Wooden Reasons has championed experimental and non-commercial music of all forms.
 It is the in-house magazine for the Quiet World label which has released music from artists such as Ian Holloway, Darren Tate, Banks Bailey, Philip Corner, Colin Andrew Sheffield and many more.

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