There are plenty of dreamscapes, like Endless Shore and Is That What You Said, tracks that just need some freak to drop ink onto a stretch condom to make everything just so
Rather than some sort of placid, peer-induced demonstration record showcasing all the sounds they listen to, Cokefloat is, in fact, just like old alternative rock records used to be, especially those from the Blast First scene.
A lot of the songs are wrapped in a mist with only the odd marsh light to prick your attention, even though it’s easily the most uncomplicated of his records that I’ve heard in terms of sound.
It’s a quiet release overall, pretty meditative but with some beautiful tracks, which conjure up those bleak moorlands and soft valleys round Burnley and Clitheroe to a tee. It’s supremely trippy too, how could it not be?
The spindly sound makes everything come across a bit world weary, a bit Syd Barrett, that sort of maisonette, down-at-heel urban blues, which if handled well (as it is here) can be really affecting music.
If you know the work of Harry Merry - or John Shuttleworth - then you will come prepared to the world of Clockwork Orchestra.
At times listening to tracks like this one, I really, really wish Billy Mackenzie was still about – he really would have lent tone to proceedings.
I’m sure the temptation to really labour the point musically was very strong, but what we get is a cleverly presented series of short, snappy tracks with a strong command of atmosphere
You can’t help smiling or being lulled into a comfortable sense of being entertained by this record. And I suppose that’s all it really set out to do in the first place.
Songwriter, craftsman and curator, a dark horse by name and by nature, this alnum's unlikely to bring Cheval Sombre out of the shadows but it may just extend them into a few more people's record collections.
By far the most impressive thing about this album, without a shadow of a doubt, is its coherence. The careful structure of the record, depth of emotion communicated with such deliberate moderation, the cohesion of the sound that runs right thoughout the album makes it fanatastic as a whole.
And all this high minded rejection of the Debordian spectacle is set over the most delightful, mellifluous electropop sound you could imagine.
...imagine some Cowell / Waterman figure manipulating these poppy well-crafted tracks into god-awfully addictive ur- torch-lit rallies for our collective subjugation...
Maybe it’s the tension in the effort of stopping everything morphing into a sub Primal Scream splurge in favour of just being an actual song that makes it so attractive. Who knows?
The titles should give the nature of the music away; Morose Land, Solar, Inertia… redolent of the size and overbearing physicality of nature itself: of watching the world go by, of not bothering to waste words or gestures
I suppose you could say it’s the music Mizutani would perform if commissioned to record a summertime special soundtrack.
Immediately you know this is a release endowed with some High Magicke as well as a ridiculous amount of confidence
I recall their EP being similarly phantasmagorical in places and tracks like Thunder don’t do much to dispel the notion that they conjure with things unseen.
Musically though, as ever, there’s a lot to enjoy. She’s absolutely brilliant at giving the most simple beat a resonance or weight; her current sound, for all its roots in (classic German) minimalist electro-pop is a rich and emotive one
Somehow the fact that all songs were “recorded at the Dome by Brian” propels the whole thing that bit more spaceward. Who is Brian? Where is the Dome? Maybe these things are best left undiscovered.