Donovan Blanc - S/T

In all of this, the spirits of Arthur Lee and Skip Spence are invoked at every turn.

(Captured Tracks)

OK I've played this to death this last 6 months and never bothered to wonder why. But now I have to tell you, and I wonder why. It's I suppose it's proof of the peculiar, three-cornered relationship that music, the listener and 'time' have. Sometimes things just creep up on you and... whack, before you know it you're bowled over.
This LP is weird. Maybe because it attempts a psych-folk take on the most unobtrusive 70s lounge bar cabaret of all time. Or or despite of this. Anyway it's weird. 'I wonder what you're like', sings Blanc on Hungry Like a Lamb and yes well, lads, look in the mirror. I wonder what drove them to write songs that look to stay under the radar, a record that is in effect made for a listening audience of one. In that, it could be a comment on all those terrible mid-70s Scott Walker LPs that remain mustily, fuggily addictive. The shit you play when no-one's about to tell you off.

It must be said that the tracks on this record are fabulously crafted, slipping past you before you've had time to measure up what's going on.  Donna is a quite brilliant, off the cuff, throwaway put down; gently twisting and turning before disappearing in a puff of smoke. Is It Natural is a brilliant underpowered raga, gasping to a finale, and Veronica and Minha Menina are glistening pop songs that haven't been played since 1969. In all of this, the spirits of Arthur Lee and Skip Spence are invoked at every turn; listen to Without a Thing to Doubt and hear the soft strums,the gentle plod of the bass offset against the merest hint of keys, the minor chord changes that struggle to accommodate all the gnomic lyrics and thoughts, the feel that the singer's fucking wasted but still up for it... There's a bit of that in every song on here. Now and again there are moments where you could be forgiven for being dragged back to 1986 and find out you are once again going through your very difficult Jasmine Minks phase (it happens!) as with Can't Wait to Meet You; but they don't stay about for too long.

Further comment isn't needed. Reading back, I can't believe it took me 6 months to write something that I can't be bothered finishing, because (in my defence, M'Lud) in essence this LP is that good. When you give it time.