TITLE - BROCKEN SPECTRE
ARTIST - ANNALOGUE
LABEL - ATOL RECORDS
FORMAT - 12" VINYL / DL
RELEASE DATE – MAY 1ST 2009 /
DISTRIBUTION – SHELLSHOCK
The vinyl album of the month award must go to Welsh chanteuse'n'molto-talent Ann Matthews for her Brocken Spectre l.p. This epic solo journey features a wispy multi tracked Matthews vocalizing,shrieking like Freyja Aswynn,scatting,humming,sometimes cooing like Betty Boop on Helium,all the while providing almost the entire musical backdrop. Imagine the Agrarians' fragile domestic muse transported to the lea of Snowdonia and you're hinting at the alternative world caught within the crackinling midranges of BROCKEN SPECTRE's epic vinyl.A beautiful thing.
JULIAN COPE ( Album of the month/HEAD HERITAGE)
Something very different here,rather magical,sprinkled dust and glowing tunes that slowly uncoil in a very experimental,delightfully different way. Delicate textures, fragile layers,primitive recordings that are so rich in sound and form - genuinely avant and experimental yet so easy and inviting - you can't help but go under and bask in all this for hours and hours. A magical beautiful treat of a highly recommended album - a perfect release for the first warm day of Summer.
ORGAN (Album of the week)
Annalogue is Ann Matthews, who recorded Brocken Spectre (ATOL RECORDS 006 LP) working solo in Anglesey. There she is climbing out on the roof under a sky filed with the purple clouds that abound in that part of Wales. This is an extremely fey collection of songs whose subject matter remains all but impenetrable on early spins, mainly due to the whispery nature of her vocals and the highly idiosyncratic recording method used to layer these wispy songs. Mostly acoustic, with pianos and guitars and gentle percussion built up into nimbus clouds of sound, doing everything possible to deflect the listener from normal modes of reception, linear thinking or anything else associated with boring old common sense. Instead, Matthews follows the logic of dream, and to very good effect for the most part. Recommend spending some time with this quasi-magical oddity and letting its strangeness work its way into your systems; Matthews is (I would say) a lot more successful at achieving the things for which the so-called “free folk” brigades of Norway are usually given unstinting praise. I’ve gotten a CDR promo, but this is a vinyl-only release which will probably vanish fast.
THE SOUND PROJECTOR
Welcome to ANNALOGUE's debut commercial release BROCKEN SPECTRE – a defiant 'one-off' that offers the chance to enter the world of an unique musical talent ...so sit back and stay untuned... and prime your ears for 12 unique songs – running at 46 minutes spread over two sides of inky black vinyl – with plenty of warped and twinkling guitars, escaping organs, empty radiators, dry biros, melancholy clarinets, smiling harmonicas and rounded basses. ANNALOGUE's female voice never fails to snag the ear and drag the listener onto the rocks of some of the strangest music currently available... all composed, played, recorded and produced by one feral entity from calming welsh shores.
ANNALOGUE is a parasol that covers the solo efforts made by Ann Matthews outside her group efforts as guitarist/singer with the noise trio FFLAPS ('87 - '92) and the post tonal psychonauts ECTOGRAM ('94 onwards). Ann has spent the majority of her extended-misspent–youth playing music – with theatre and dance companies and avant-garde ensembles such as FAUST as well as the more untraditional pop groups.
ANNALOGUE remarks that BROCKEN SPECTRE was made "for the sheer joy of picking up any instrument, pressing record on anything that records and seeing what happened."
It's safe to say that nothing in the universe of normal pop compares to the natural song writing style of Ann's work and the embroidered multi-layered yet simple arrangements that she weaves around her poetic songs. From the super tough guitar playing on Apron! to Corn Curl's sad, slow flickering tick tock of two rocks being gently tapped to the accompanying Biro that clicks away quietly to itself. The mostly drum-less yet complex music on the album belies the primitive recording technology used to capture these sometimes-otherworldly sounding emanations. The album has a hermetically sealed feel that defies easy categorization and fixing it as a work from 2009 yields no easy answers to it's mysterious qualities which perfectly fit the warm reproductive sound of it's vinyl only existence. You can experience the almost pop music of 'Tony Wilson’ alongside the strange shuffle of 'Eve's drop' as well as sampling the comforting blanket of sound that is 'Know Your Vessels' and 'Cappo Incognito'.
To experience a glimpse into planet ANNALOGUE see 'TONY WILSON' promo vid. at youtube.com/watch?v=sfjrPphAkfw
For more info on ANNALOGUE/or ATOL -Ankst’s new vinyl only ‘out there’ label:-
ATOL RECORDS c/o TOPS, THE SQUARE, PENTRAETH, MON, LL758AZ
EMYR@ANKST.CO.UK 01248 450 155 WWW.MYSPACE.COM/ANNOLOG