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The Stargazer’s Assistant – Remoteness Of Light

House Of Mythology

The Stargazer's Assistant - Remoteness Of LightThe gentle slope of ambience that ignites this baby keeps its cards very close to its chest. That twinkling starlight and temple solemnity give very little away. Those odd squelchy bits that sound like Mr Burroughs‘ typewriter turned flesh mingling with the more tuneful. Those vaporised swirls erupting in Bar Maldoror fissures (more Current gasps than Nurse naughtiness; I was half expecting Mr Tibet to dip in at one moment), all leading you closer to this album’s epicentre.

Everything is networked in Frida Kahlo-like tubes and wires radiating from the heart in scattered kettle drums and Joujouka-like tremors. Hinting; then peeling back that gentle intent to reveal snake-swaying woodwinds that tear on through in intense, canvas-filling energy. “Agents Of Altitude” is a roaring baptism that literally arrests, effectively remove you from the present in ascendant arcs on dirgey, black-keyed tempests. An elevation dismantled in jazzy brushes and sustained afterglows that leave you salivating.

With the likes of David J Smith (Guapo, Cyclobe, TheAmal Gamal Ensemble), David J Knight (UnicaZürn, Shock Headed Peters, Amal Gamal Ensemble) and Michael J York (Cyclobe, Coil, Téléplasmiste, The Other Without) at the helm, this was bound to delight, to tease in its pursuit of the exalted. “World of Amphibia” stings like the first — slow, unassumingly easing in the haunted. This beautiful channelled piano that seems to hark from elsewhere, that spectral melody of flute shoaling the dispossessed. Elements whipped in jazz rushes, bolder colours and bursts of sci-fi discord. That lush Tangerine Dream organ line dangling the horizon as duelling factions are overtaken in a Sufi treasure house of dusty snaking pipes and whi- cut zither. Highland pipes growing triumphant, wandering  into a parade of brokenness that blackens before dispersal. This oooooozes with potential (yes, all those Os are really necessary), burns bright, maybe a bit more contained and trad-tapped than “Agents Of Altitude”, but bloody satisfying to take in all the same.

The last track on the CD, “Remoteness Of Light” itself, continues the thrills. Again the starting points are tickled in tender enchantment, almost Eno-esque in its infancy. A foggy dawn lapping craggy rocks, energised in percussive jitters, jet streams and snake charmers swinging all filmic and Kyoto-blossomed. Its sonic stratagems Arcania-bejewelled, brunette swirled, whirring then growing intense and duplicitous, heralding like Cleopatra’s cinematic arrival in Rome. Bursting its bubble in distorted purples and yellows, floundering in fragments before teasing the inner storm of modernity, stuttering motorik judder-thons that are slippery with eel(y) nurture and jettisoned by a booming aorta of bodhrán to die for.

Within the realm of the senses, Remoteness Of Light bleeds like a stream of consciousness that grabs its richness from everywhere.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-


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