Deutschland, Deutsche –California, and now, Deutsche-Ormskirk. And nowt wrong with that!
A fruitful eighteen months or so for Mr Sergeant! Exhibitions of his art, a solo LP (Things Inside) that should in every Head collection, launching the Good Ship Poltergeist’s marvellous debut* and sprinkling high magic on Eva Peterson’s latest record has been his lot, or nearly; as there’s a new Glide LP on the block. Glide records have always reflected Sergeant’s more diverse meanderings and private reflections; and seem to pick up on his early sound collages from pre Bunnymen days or things like his first solo outing, 1982’s Themes from Grind. Sometimes these are really great, sometimes okay, but always very interesting and often surprisingly addictive given their unobtrusive nature. This latest is definitely edging on the addictive. Yes we’re big fans of his work here but you should give this piece a spin. It’s tops for that early morning commute, your daily sonic turn on, tune in and drop out before enchainment beckons.
This new LP is composed of two pieces; prosaically named Assemblage One and Assemblage Two. Given the gnomic, “Fordist” titles, it’s worth pointing out we get two very trippy pieces that float in and out of the time, with nods to all sorts of synthesized balusters and enframements that remind this reviewer of what’s going down on M-Minimal label in Deutschland; all those cats like Borngräber & Strüver making hay with the template Connie Schnitzlter created, or maybe the brilliantly future-past morphings of Michael Rother’s solo work by Jacob Reinhart and Justin Walter. Deutschland, Deutsche –California, and now, Deutsche-Ormskirk. And nowt wrong with that! These pieces boast a beautifully dreamy element that has a strong feel of West Lancs and the Mersey estuary – flatlands and soft air; low hanging, grey mists tinged with yellow streaks, all that kind of atmospheric stuff that writers should steer clear of, unless they fancy getting locked up for crimes against brevity.
It is a very sedate record; reflective, pretty earthbound and occasionally getting (in the case of Assemblage Two) lost in a 1970s fug. But then, there are moments that float in and bring light to the gloaming that has enveloped this particular sonic estuary; Assemblage One boasts a classic toy piano riff does battle with a signature Sergeant guitar growl, which lifts the work onto another plane entirely.
One of those records, like Zeit, Elizabeth Vagina or more recent stuff like Justin Walter’s work (especially him) that, due to its restful inner core, can get stuck on the player over and over again, almost as some sort of sonic balm; and one that can easily do without any fanfare or patter (I can’t see it generating much “file sharing” for instance). Maybe that’s a good thing as, at its best (for me, that Schneider flute bit in part two of Assemblage Two) when it floats about in a world of its own making, quite happy to reside there, waiting for the boatman’s call.
Clever cover, too.
*The Poltergeist remix mini LP is grand too, with some tremendous reworkings from the likes of Clinic and Kelley Stoltz.