Fridge's music was always concerned with the fun of creating “stuff” in the studio. It's what all good artists do, isn't it?
Fridge – The Sun
Bloody heck, a new Fridge LP. Some of you might not have been born when their last LP came out... Okay, I'm exaggerating but you get the picture. Apparently this album is compiled from new material and ideas from sessions three or four years back. Not that that really matters, Fridge's music was always concerned with the fun of creating "stuff" in the studio. It's what all good artists do, isn't it?
Title track The Sun kicks proceedings off with a sparse, dry drum-led meditation which has me immediately in mind of White Hills. Clocks suddenly changes the mood, with the initial shockingly long "silences" being gradually replaced clicking noises (yep, clocks). It's all very Eno-esque I have to say, albeit much more basic and earthy than Eno's stuff. About a third of the way in a thoughtful guitar line starts to construct a melody of sorts. We are deep into Serpents territory now, with the growling menacing guitar and strange, muted noises, which gain the ascendancy in the last two minutes or so. It is oddly invigorating.
Our Pace in This drops the tempo by virtue of being an acoustic reflection in the style of Michael Rother (i.e. there are lots of odd scratchy noises wobbling around behind the guitar). Drums of Life is a thunderous, clashing interlude lasting all of 38 seconds and one which leads into the quirky pop moves of Eyelids. The song is a shockingly straight - in that you don't really expect it - guitar work out favoured by some contemporary indie-pop bands. Gosh...
Oram starts with lots of thumping and rattling before settling down to a punchy, slightly funky work out with a lovely melody underpinning it. The melody takes over midway and everything gets a wee bit blissed-out before the drums return to create a rousing finale. After that motherload we get Comets, which seems to play a role of sonic joker, destroying what has gone before with its brutal, simplistic keyboard lines. Things do start to unravel in a way with the odd added piano and glockenspiel thrown in; it is all very similar to something Rodelius would do. Insects is a jumble, albeit a very harmonious one (if that doesn't sound too contradictory), the instruments weaving slightly erratic jazzy patterns, at times sounding like Gong on one of their come-downs.
The last two tracks help the LP wind down, Lost Time is a circular, echoing riff aided by shifting, fleeting vocal samples whereas Years And Years And Years And Years continues the melodic "trip" with a hazy, hypnotic strum.
A cracking LP, if somewhat meditative in nature. Still it's better than anything else in this genre, by a country mile. I love it.
Words: Richard Foster.