Anjou have made a record that is incredibly evocative of place, any place you want to imagine, maybe an inner space; and one that can change according to your frame of mind.
What a record this is. Its brilliance is nestled in an intuitive confidence to amplify a set of sounds that mean nothing much. You see, nothing happens apart from strange, unearthly noises. Nothing remarkable about that you may think, as there are as many ambient records as there are diet products it seems; but there is a concentration here as well as abandon; it all means nothing but it’s brilliant, even brazen in telling you that. You get me?
The cover is the first step in latching onto this idea. It is a clever opening gambit too; a painting of a street in the rain; a seemingly busy street that’s somehow still. It’s smart; a frozen moment, something you’d never normally look at.
Then we have the music. This LP is the sound of the insides of a bell jar; or the inside of a fuse box (Specimen Question). Or it could be deep space; especially the beginning of Readings, which knows no anchor, or gravitational pull. Lamptest is the sound of a gentle, atonal descend on repeat. It’s Clangers land recorded in slow motion. Listening to Sighting is like imagining the sound of the grass rustling outside some power plant in the dead of night; the subliminal bleeps and hisses signifying the security cams. When the slow beat comes in (after 5 minutes of ghostly rustling) you feel threatened by it; something else is about. What a detail to throw in so late. They do this again with Readings, which morphs into this ur-Brythonic, clanking dragon figure of dread; it could be the creature in Welsh Incident, by Robert Graves. Inclosed is the sound of a winter wind rustling round a hilltop camp. Adjustment, a beautiful harmonic descend, sounds like your past being played back in front of you on a reel to reel. Last track Fieldwork comes on like some Atem-era T–Dream; a satellite sending out its beautifully frayed, tessellate signals from some place near the moons of Jupiter.
What I’m trying to convey with my blathering is that Anjou have made a record that is incredibly evocative of place, any place you want to imagine, maybe an inner space; and one that can change according to your frame of mind. It’s fucking phenomenal in that respect.
I’d say this is one of the records of the year.