The Dovetail Consort "East and West" |
Bristol based solo artist Tim Newman releases this very beautiful collection of guitar instrumentals on the superb Irish based Rusted
Rail label. The six track mini album is pressed on a very cute little 3 inch sized cd and comes housed in a beautiful handmade miniature
card sleeve. The album features 20 minutes of haunting guitar instrumental sounds calling to mind the likes of James Blackshaw with some
added strings. Fans of the slightly eastern tinged avant folk sounds of the likes of John Fahey will instantly fall in love with this one.
Features some beautifully meditative folk guitar picking with a lovely spacial kind of ambient feel about it.
East & West is a simple yet delicately harmonious record that shifts slowly through many acoustic fields of vision. At times I am reminded of the Dead Man's Shoes soundtrack and at others a totally organic version of Labradford. One thing is clear here, these guys have had enough time to dwell on and capture the beauty and stillness that surrounds anyone awakening to the crow of the cockerel on a blistering summer's morning.
The Dovetail Consort, an instrumental group hailing from Bristol, has released their first EP, The East and West on the indie record label
Rusted Rail. The adorable 3-inch disc, which is placed in a hand-made sleeve, features a scenic photo of a dusty road at sunset, prepping
you for the 20 minutes of serene lullabies that lie within. The group's sound features mainly acoustic guitar and strings, but there are
many more instruments thrown in to give the album an eclectic blend of Eastern and Western sound, hence, the album title. The opening
track, "Devotional", is a positive, earthy tune. It could easily be used on a movie soundtrack, playing while the credits roll after a
bittersweet ending. It reminds me of what I imagine the Tuscan countryside would sound like, if hills could make music. From there, the
album morphs into a more oriental sound on "Three Weeks". I can never exactly put my finger on what instruments are being played, as they
change often, but it makes for a decent track. "Mainsail" has a similar vibe-both depressing and intriguing. The blending of Eastern and
Western musical styles delivers a unique sound that you don't get to hear often. The Dovetail Consort aren't what anyone would consider
"mainstream music", and you'll never hear them anywhere in public (unless it's a zen garden). You can't dance, sing, or really even get
high to their music. But their EP is perfect for artists who just need a bit of soothing background noise while working on a project.
Oh nice one, more hard to identify 3" CDs on Rusted Rail! Just what our stockrooms need! It's a good job their releases tend to be of a
very high standard innit. Otherwise I'd have to start windmilling. They do good press releases too, I've just read the one for this
Dovetail Consort release and it's a beauty - leaving me totally at sea to find more words to add to it. It does mention Can though so
I guess I should make it clear that it sounds next to nothing like them in practice, it's obviously more their musical approach that
he's interested in rather than their overall sound. Essentially these tracks are based on simple, but heavily edited, folky guitar
pieces which take on an almost mantra-like quality through the repetition of notes and phrases. It's quite beautiful really.
There's something rewarding about a record which is open about reference points and inspirations without sounding like any of those
catalysts. Bristol-based Tim Newman's titles refer, variously to David Crosby's boat (Mainsail), the original full name of
"much maligned goth pioneers" - his words - Bauhaus (1919), Indian classical music (Devotional) and Ian Carr's Nucleus (Elastic Folk)
and all of these points of his musical compass make me warm to the record before the laser hits the pits. The music created by Mr. Newman
is a charming world of guitar melodies with mandolin, 'cello, thumb piano and percussion, all wrapped up in Rusted Rails hard-to-resist 3"
format, delightful on both ear and eye.