Directsound "Leaving the Moors" |
A small treasure in a hand-made sleeve. Melancholic nostalgia, ungainly romanticism: an oddly beautiful collection. Remember that day long ago? When we were caught by a sudden downpour amidst the sultry sunshine and sheltered under the trees, we listened to raindrops falling upon leaves and laughed ? knowing that all too soon the summer would be gone and become nothing more than a memory. Now the blurred imprints are somehow held upon a shiny magic-disc, put there by an unknown dream weaver.
It's review central this week and a week wouldn't be complete without a 3" CD from Rusted Rail to coo over. Directorsound is Nick Palmer, his 7 tracks here, housed prettily in one of those dinky greetings cards, are of a very gentle nature. A bass string thrums, a harp style affair is caressed, ambient drift forms the backdrop. That's the essence of the beautiful 'Do Geese see God' which is quite Rothko-ish in it's blissed majesty. 'Tuberose' sounds like it fell from the incidental music to Dead Man's Shoes, field recordings of cowbells before an acoustic guitar and accordian come out to play with possibly a toy trumpet or something (enlighten me Nick!) 'Weasil Chime/Ropes' has a wonderful Parisian cafe folk structure. His field recordings give each song a beautiful organic touch, leaving the instrumentation to be as brittle or sparse as it wants to be, these sketches breathe the outdoors, they sound like they're recorded in a small farmyard in the golden sun of a hazy afternoon whilst animals doze & the lightest breeze makes you sigh with contentment. 'Leaving The Moors' is as sweet as you like.
Rusted Rail delivers another tiny gem with the lovely "Leaving the Moors"
by Directorsound, and continues to rekindle my interest in the mini-cd as
a viable release format. At a little over 19 minutes, "Leaving the Moors"
is the perfect length, just long enough to establish a space that is from a
completely other time and then to disappear, leaving only a cloud of memory.
Directorsound is the work of multi-instrumentalist Nick Palmer. The chosen
instrumentation here gives the feeling of a traveling band of gypsies from
a fairy tale- lots of accordion, melodic nylon string guitar passages, banjo,
bells, piano, and some wonderful lumbering percussion. These seven brief
instrumental pieces are the perfect accompaniment to deep winter dreaming.
They are never hurried, preferring instead to patiently open up to the listener
like a slow walk down an old winding road. Palmer's ear is refined and mature
and here he has created a little world of melody that is whimsical, romantic,
and nostalgic- an essential pickup for a short but sweet escape. Well done. 10/10
Nick Palmer is the man behind Directorsound, a practitioner of what the label Rusted Rail
likes to call the "Dorset sound": though offering precious-few examples thus far
(most notably, a handful of fine works by Directorsound collaborator Plinth), this
sound is rooted in esoteric instruments from centuries passed ("Amber Ember"), light
ambient field-recordings made much heavier by the sparse instrumentation ("Tuberose"),
and a fractured, though (mostly) traditional sense of composition, as best exemplified on
the chit-chat of burlesque accordion, banjo, and proto-bossanova guitar on "The Gin Trap".
Like Rusted Rail's releases of Plinth material, the little disc 'Leaving the Moors' feels
its size for its minuet song form and cozy atmosphere. Stamped 3" comes in a
finely-(hand)crafted paper sleeve which you've come to rely on the label to produce.
Another beautifully melancholic collection from the Rusted Rail label, this one comes from English-based multi-instrumentalist
Nick Palmer a.k.a. Directorsound, who has previously released material on the Geographic label. Featuring some lovely old style
moody folk sounds which at times call to mind the soundtrack to the legendary Deerhunter film, the mini-album features seven
short instrumental little late night acoustic gems.
This is the kind of charming music which could've soundtracked vintage children's tv, music of hazy afternoon picnics by the riverside,
but just when too much contentment could set in, a piece built on clock chimes suggests ominous portents. It all works out in the end
and our riverside friends dance to guitar, accordion and a few other things at the titles roll.
Rusted Rail comes up trumps again and the theatre of the mind isn't doing too badly today either!
Nick Palmer's been huffing around the Francophile campfire as Directorsound for a good few years now, though he's slipped largely under the radar in recent times. Leaving The Moors covers his usual ground - nylon string guitar weaving through countless inversions while rickety percussion and gentle flourishes of accordion, glockenspiel and piano are strung carefully across the diorama. He's a romantic melodist by nature, equal parts Comelade, Veloso and Reinhart. Very Charming