Alrealon are a funny label, being home to some excellent releases (Black Saturn vs Subduxtion) and also some awful ones (John 3:16). Dig out the reviews from our extensive archives. Or pretend you have. Or don’t. I won’t know.
I think they got bored of sending me stuff that I grimaced at so they’ve been quiet for a while as far as I’m concerned. So it was with some trepidation that I received a preview copy of “Eugenie”. If I had read the press release I would know who Philip Petit is but I don’t read press releases because they’re extremely long and full of misplaced superlatives. So I could guess who is or I could just proceed in the knowledge that, as far as this review is concerned, it doesn’t matter.
What does matter (of course) is what it sounds like. If I was modest I’d say it was difficult to categorise but I’m on the verge of knowing absolutely everything there is to know, so I can definitively state that this is experimental electro-acoustic ambient. Yes you may high five me. So tune number one “An Air of Intrigue” goes from industrial white noise to the sound of someone stirring a big pot of wind chimes to an electric cello with no real melodies or themes. It’s not music per se but it’s not not music. “Clapoutique” veers from guitars to vibraphones to treated pianos and cellos with plenty of effects to render it very atmospheric. It treads over a simple scale of sorts and its washed out, tired but strangely optimistic sounds at some point win me over. In terms of comparison think of The Stargazer’s Assistant but taken in an upbeat direction rather than a severe and menacing one.
“Pyramid Of The Moon” clatters around for a while before settling into a simple but lovely fiddle / violin refrain that makes me think of drowning cowboys especially when he stretches everything out and plays some reverb-y melancholy acoustic guitar over the top.
“Magma From The Aquarium” is a great title and is the most experimental and noisy of the tracks featuring static loops, howler monkeys and shimmering ancient synth sounds. It’s sort of like an outtake from the Forbidden Planet soundtrack, descending into pure noise in the middle for a little while before slowly fading away into weird atonal plink-plonks and insane bee people screeching.
I really like this peculiar EP and I was pleased to see it’s been released as a very attractive looking 10” on Alrealon. Buy it here : http://alrealon.co.uk/