Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Letters, Letters... wonderfully weird!

Once upon a time, not so long ago, letters in the mail were the main form of communication.
Letters, Letters have, on their eponymous début, messed with this perception and all the misunderstandings that words can convey...

The band comes from Montréal (how near inevitable does that seem) but they also have help from Chicago. Amazon.co.uk does not appear to know about this release yet while Amazon.com does, but only on CD. Don't however, even for one moment, think that we in the UK are on the losing end of this particular game. The album is released by 'Type Recordings', as many strange but good things are, and they have released it as a 12" LP on vinyl. This is available only in the UK and limited to just 500 copies; all of them pressed in strawberry-red clear vinyl!
The music on the album is I think, and this is after just three listens to one of the aforementioned vinyl copies, a new take on what I can best describe as dirty low-fi electronica; it has much instrumental variety and merit but also the very interesting addition of both male and female vocals, sometimes both together in the same song. That does not mean something bad, very far from it in fact, but for a 'Type Recordings' release to have any vocals at all is really rather remarkable.
Now you can understand why I'm unwilling, as I mentioned earlier this week, to be tempted into making my 'Best Albums of 2007' selection so early in the year. I'm not saying this album will be in that list but I'm certainly not prepared to exclude new possibilities just because it is the start of November.

I should have, in fact, added another 'Type Recordings' release to my post yesterday that considered music for autumn and winter nights. That is Le Fumeur de Ciel by the Parisian artist Julien Neto, who has released under various other monikers and on assorted labels, which was released in 2005 but is now available on 12" LP for the first time. It is a wonderful concoction of electronica, melded with dusty acoustic samples, and the album is entirely instrumental. France is a real, yet often unrecognised, force when it comes to this and related kinds of ambient music. I have reviewed Colleen et les Boîtes à Musique already and I am rather tempted to buy a copy of the Colleen album The Golden Morning Breaks. (These are both released on the Manchester-based The Leaf Label.)

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