If I was hosting a haunted house on Halloween this year with the intention of simultaneously attracting ambient music elitists as well as scaring the feces out of neighborhood children, Leyland Kirby would provide the soundtrack. Â Known for his work as The Caretaker, Leyland has carved out a big niche in the experimental ambient genre, crafting the hauntingly beautiful album “An Empty Bliss Beyond This World” in 2011. Â He has inspired many artists who reside in the dark ambient world, and as sinister as that genre may sound, his compositions are quite gorgeous.
Check out the super light-hearted music video accompaniment below:
This is an international purchase, so shipping is a bit more for you statesiders. Â Trick or treat, ladies and gentlemen.
*Initial copies on smokey grey vinyl* *New album from The Stranger aka James Leyland Kirby, also known as The Caretaker* Polymath James Leyland Kirby must surely have one of the most confounding CVâs in the business: he spent years taking the piss out of the music industry with anthems rallying against the (VV)MCPS, he notoriously fell out with various well known record labels for reasons youâll just have to google, goaded Aphex Twin with a series of âtributesâ and channelled his love of everything from Falco (Rock Me Amadeus), Chris De Burgh, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Stockport karaoke nights into a stream of increasingly bizzare 7âs back in the early noughties. But at the same time he was responsible for releasing some of the very earliest material from Boards of Canada (Hell Interface: 1997), made a ruck of frankly groundbreaking industrial electronic records, brought New Beat to the worldâs attention and, in 1999, made his first album as The Caretaker, a project that would go on to release some of the most loved Ambient/ Lynchian albums of recent times. Since then heâs also produced an incredible suite of releases under his own name, scored various film projects and released three EPâs under the âIntrigue & Stuffâ banner which are, for our money, so ahead of their time they might just start sinking in properly by the end of the decade. All of which brings us to âWatching Dead Empires in Decayâ, a new album recorded under another of Kirbyâs pseudonyms âThe Strangerâ and released on Modern Love, a label that has been close to Kirby through these last eventful 15 years. Itâs a dream album for the label: perhaps the most ambitious of Kirbyâs career so far. Itâs complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just canât work out how it was constructed. Gone are the sampled 78âs of The Caretaker, but it also doesnt exactly sound electronic - you just canât quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field Recordings? Found Sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? Itâs stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling - but often just beautiful. It starts with the sharp clang of opener âWe Are Enemies But Not Hereâ before the woozy percussive crawl âSo Pale It Shone In The Nightâ sucks you into a bare landscape: somewhere between Eraserhead and Fumio Hayasakaâs music for Akira Kurosawa. And then there are moments that break through the tension with clarity and familiarity, nostalgia even: âWhere Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?â could have been made by Boards of Canada if they had taken a turn into more noxious terrain back in 1998, while âSpiral Of Declineâ offsets the drum programming youâd most likely associate with a Powell record with an oblique sense of timing and space. It all ends with âAbout To Enter A Strange New Periodâ, an unusual, vaporous coda that offers no resolution - it just shuts proceedings down with nothing settled.
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive