Saturday, 5 December 2015

Rhys Marsh - The Black Sun Shining

It's unbelievable that this album was written and recorded in one week, as a sort of unplanned fill-in. It's brimming with musical ideas and Marsh has let his imagination flow, unhindered by pre-conceived notions of what this album is. But it all flows beautifully and how he has managed to arrange all this in such a logical and sophisticated manner in such a short time frame is quite an achievement.

These songs are carefully constructed and melodically very strong. Here Marsh uses lots of synths to give a more edgy, experimental, even 80's feel to the music. What quickly comes to mind is early David Sylvian, Bill Nelson, John Foxx and possibly "In Camera/The Future Now" era Peter Hammill with a hint of Brendan Perry/early Dead Can Dance. Opening track "I Hear, I Know" has this bubbling synth pattern which goes off in skewy directions to produce a wonderfully odd effect. Or the primal beats and cathedral-like distorted synth of "One Step Inwards". Gauge that against the following "Find Another Way" with its beautiful pedal steel guitar. The whole album is like this, going off at strange tangents, seemingly letting chance take hold of the outcome.

This album came out of the blue. Quickly recorded, quickly released. But it's no mere stop gap. This is a wonderfully eclectic set of fully realised songs. Haunting, discomfiting, ethereal, spiky and overall completely engrossing. If this is what Rhys Marsh can come up with in a week, maybe he should do all his albums like this!


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