Sad City - ‘You Will Soon Find That Life Is Wonderful’ EP
(Phonica Special Editions) ●●●●
Glasgow-based producer Gary Caruth delivers an EP that is dripping with lush, undulating synth hedonism and blissed-out meditative swashes. It’s reminiscent in its artistry of the languid astral- plane wandering house of Brooklyn duo Blondes, full of bright and inviting ambient explorations, throbbing beats and Balearic broad synth strokes. Caruth has often jammed with multi-instrumentalist Julian Lynch and this bold effort shows a similar willingness for cosmic expeditions, albeit using a different palate.
Carter Tutti - ‘Coolican’
Despite being pretty active, this is the first single for over a decade by Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, formerly of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle. That said, they have always marched to the beat of their own drum and with their impending return to the live scene this new release gives a timely reminder of their still vibrant dynamic. ‘Coolican’ is a juddering and cacophonous dubby dirge that will sound just fantastic when lumbering out of a formidable PA.
Jon Hopkins - ’Open Eye Signal’
Electronic multi-tasker Jon Hopkins seems to sound different every time he remerges from whatever cocoon of synths and equipment he chooses to find solace. Here he delivers a propulsive slab of analogue joy from his forthcoming LP *3Immunity*2, which has an immediacy from the get go and does not stop its chugging euphoria for the duration. ‘Open Eye Signals’ tightly structured rhythm deviates little, but there is a majesty in this unravelling juggernaut.
Rob St John and the Coven Choir - ’Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey’
(Song, By Toad) ●●●
‘Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey’ was originally sung in 1905 in Lancashire but Rob St John restores it to what we will presume to be its former glory. It’s an old song pregnant with a pernicious gloom, and an ‘it’s grim up North’ fatalism. This remodelling – a 7” on Edinburgh label Song, By Toad – is skilfully done, channelling the past with its hallowed sense of purpose, varied instrumentation and vocals teaming with a weighty poignancy.