Marram/Various Artists - Sun Choir / Boats (3 stars)

Marram/Various Artists - Everything is New

Project aiding dalit children in southeast India features Jarvis Cocker, Max Tundra, Owen Pallett and Dan Deacon

(Transgressive North)

These two albums, along with an accompanying film narrated by Irvine Welsh, are the celebratory fruit of seven years’ work by up to 1000 individuals, including Jarvis Cocker, Max Tundra, Owen Pallett and Dan Deacon, on a project called Everything Is New.

Proceeds from the project, curated by the Edinburgh-based arts community Transgressive North, will go to the charity Scottish Love in Action which houses and educates children of the ‘untouchable’ dalit caste in southeast India, and it is these very kids, in the guise of the Light of Love Children’s Choir, who are the stars of the whole venture.

Edinburgh-based outfit Marram have placed recordings of the children singing and chanting at the heart of Sun Choir to create an album of almost holistic electronica. Their hypnotic voices are sampled and woven into shimmering jazzy mantra ‘Amma’, become part of the hippy glitch fabric of ‘We Fly A Kite’ and lend a continuity to diverse sounds such as the aqueous prog of ‘The Butterfly, The Moon’, muscular, orchestral diptych ‘Seed’ and the multi-layered maximalism of ‘Valuables’.

The companion Boats compilation features a diverse array of international acts making further use of the samples to produce more than two hours of mostly ambient soundscapes, from the woozy coffee-table soul of White Hinterland’s ‘Like A Dove’ to the soothing eight-minute chillout of Califone’s ‘These Mountains Are God’s Teeth’.

A rent-a-sample reverie descends at points, only to be interrupted by the lean retro-futuristic funk of ‘Weight in Song’ by American rapper Doseone or the forceful hard rock of Physical Forms’ ‘Sound Lie’. Elsewhere, the kids’ voices are creatively sampled and looped as a juddering, rhythmic pulse through Lucky Dragons’ ‘Between Suns’, and utilised more stridently by Ramona Falls and particularly Son Lux to colour the electro exotica of ‘My Father’s Children’.

Album launch and film screening, Dominion Cinema, Edinburgh, Mon 20 Jan 2014.

The Everything Is New Project

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