Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis

Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis

I was daydreaming as I walked to work the other day, as one often does. I was thinking about Mark Hollis, then about Talk Talk, then finally Laughing Stock. That's why I brought this album, because my thoughts warmed up as I thought about how Laughing Stock was once in my Top 5. Thinking about it, I'm not too sure that's changed at all. I haven't attempted to create a Top 5 albums list in years - probably because it would be a fruitless and depressing activity.

This album is beautiful. It's a lot like Laughing Stock I guess. Meandering. With later Hollis work you basically get mellow acoustic production with splashes of dreamy vocals, ebbs and flows. Thinking about it now it's just dawned on me that Talk Talk must have been instrumental in the creation of the post-rock genre. The elements were already all there by Spirit of Eden.

Damn, what a pretty little piece. Hollis' work is all about the space. You never fell rushed, the silences (and there are plenty of them) give you time to stop and think.

Yeah, I think Mark Hollis will stay in my Top 5 for another few years yet.

Jakob - Cale:Drew

Jakob - Cale:Drew

Jakob have been in my life for more years (10?) than I can remember now and I wouldn't have it any other way. As a cheap comparison you could say that they sound something like [insert post-rock group here]. I guess the elements are there - pounding drums set the scene while lush layers of guitar noise swirl overhead.

To see Jakob perform live is a semi-religious experience for me. It seems to take a good couple of seconds for the sound to find its way from Jeff's guitar to the listeners ears. What is it doing inside all those pedals? Biding its time, swirling around until it's ripe. Only then can be considered mature enough for our ears.

The variance in dynamics across the album, or even within a single song, is huge. Some of it ambient, hauntingly beautiful while other bits use their hard edge to provide a great contrast. They don't take the approach of other post-rock bands - it's not a slow growing organic build up of noise. When Jakob want you to have it, they just let you have it. And I highly suggest you just sit there and take it.

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