Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Bill Wells et al - Pick Up Sticks
Collaborative effort of four artists coming from two distinct (-ish) backgrounds - Scot Bill Wells and prolific trombonist Annie Whitehead from a predominantly jazz background, and the Germans Barbara Morgenstern and Stefan Schneider (also in To Rococo Rot) from electronica. Of course, the boundaries of what these artists produce are not anywhere nearly so clearly defined, but the resulting mini album (just over 20 minutes) seems to be balanced perfectly in the middle. It's a set of 8 sketches that combine horns, both natural and processed, with electronica and the more laid back and glacial end of the post rock spectrum. There are often similarities with To Rococo Rot's excellent debut Veiculo, but the brass definitely adds a lot to the mix. These would perfectly soundtrack a drama of the more sombre type, although there are low glowing embers of warmth and tenderness throughout, as well as moments of stark beauty. In fact 'Three Line Prayer Pt 2' is magnificent, and a real favourite of mine.
A really nice downbeat little gem. Released on Leaf, 2004.