I just can't describe the whole of this album with the reverence it deserves; it's too much of a headfuck
Pram – The Moving Frontier
Bloody hell, what is this? I claim to know nothing about Pram, how have I missed them? They are utterly brilliant. This release right from the opening notes has hit me amidships with its utter confidence, sass and lunatic perversity. Opening track The Empty Quarter is a great lost Electric Prunes stroll, maybe the Prunes if they had been commissioned to write a Spaghetti Western soundtrack. Salt and Sand is a beautiful, maudlin lament, replete with a spooky, atonal, gamelan styling that fits in perfectly with the sparse arrangement. After that we get another instrumental, Iske, a dry, post war afternoon walk through Brussels; its as if you're staring into the window of a pawnbrokers, wondering how in hell's name you're going to get your watch back. The City Surveyor is a ghostly lament replete with what sounds suspiciously like a backwards accordion.
Hell's teeth... Sundew is a cranky quirky instrumental whereas Salva is a jazzy spacey affair, very urban, a touch of Gainsbourg perhaps. It certainly has a very Gallic air to it. Moonminer is something Kaada and Patton would rustle up, it has an otherworldly air about it that reminds me of Marble Index era Nico too (albeit without the utter emotional void that Nico could project).
I just can't describe the whole of this album with the reverence it deserves; it's too much of a headfuck. Suffice to say it carries on in the same vein Beluga and Mariana Deep being particular gems... it's a classic of homespun glamour; a glamour that, perversely, dares not show its face.
I'm off to lie down.
Words: Richard Foster