ANNALOGUE – Broken Spectre (Atol) – Now there is no indication that this is deliberately coming out on Beltaine (as in today), a May Day release does feel just right though, especially when you dip a first toe in to the inviting waters of opening track Broken Symmetry (and who releases an album on a Friday unless it is a date-tying deliberate act anyway?). This is inviting spiritual drip-drip twinkling warmth and instant otherly magic from Ann Matthews – for this is a first solo album from Ann, she of Welsh experimental band Ectogram (and previous to that post-punk noise makers Fflaps). Released as a vinyl only thing (although you can buy the download version should you wish to not have the proper magic of vinyl and the art in hand to study) and perfect for this sunny Beltaine warnth today… Something very different here, rather magical, sprinkled dust and glowing tunes that slowly uncoil in a very experimental, delightfully different, very welcoming soothing inviting way.. Delicate textures, fragile layers, primitive recordings that are so so rich in sound and form (if it is primitive then very positively so), genuinely avant and experimental yet so easy and inviting – nothing hard boiled or awkward here, every slowly placed considred note, every sound an invite to go further in and discover more, and invite to bathe in the different sounds, you can’t just dip a toe in to these delights, you can’t help but go under and bask in it all for hours and hours. They are songs, nothing that conventional though, whispered words, dust in the sunlight through the cracks, natural sounds, chimes, embroidered multi-layered simplicity, lines of words and bits of tunes that take their own way, no regard for convention – always tunes though, always formed and structured, never mere experiments with sound and word… these are most certainly songs. Broken Spectre is an absolute delight of an album. An album alive, alive with those whispers, those chimes, alive with that tick tock and those gentle colliding rocks, the gentle bells, the clicks, those shadows and the mysterious otherworldly warmth of it all. Reference points? Well there aren’t really any obvious reference points, no clichéd cats and dogs and cogs and maybe a not quite so obvious Psychic TV? A touch or two of Faust? Dead Can Dance? Webcore’s magic? Not too many drums on here though, none of that Webcore forward motion, more the otherly magic and knowing mystery. Recorded in North Wales, the Isle Of Anglesey…. flutes, hums, drones that never actually become drones, words, lines that catch your ear and then retreat in to the body of the sound again, some kind of Pagan spiritual thing that never nails any colours that obviously. A magical beautiful treat of a highly recommended album and a perfect Beltaine release for this first warm day of a new summer, who’d have thought it…

Organ