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Birchville Cat Motel - Gunpowder Temple of Heaven [Pica Disk - 2008]

Gunpowder Temple of Heaven finds Birchville Cat Motel in a more ambient, droney and growing harmonic warmth focus, though still built around Campbell Kneale distinctive guitar and sustained elements this feels more spiritual, calm and peaceful then much of his work.

It’s just one long forty minute track this time around which is built around held and drone guitar,possibly organ and synth harmonics, the track just hums and grows in power, warmth and harmony around you. Starting off with a distant guitar like charged heroic loop and unaudible dialogue snippets possible from the radio. Then over the rest of the track he  builds up layers of unfolding harmonic dwell feeling like hundreds of flowers slowly opening up in the warming light.

I’ll have to say while I enjoyed and found this rewarding- it’s not one of my favourite BCM pieces thus far. I think there’s not enough going on to substain the 40 minutes running time and it all feels a bit too ‘nice’, I like it when he throws in more jarring and odd angles to his sonic unfold. Never the less it’s another side of his sound explored which in it’s self has to be commended.

This is one of the nicest presented BCM disk so far,  coming in a nice double cardboard folder with an eight page book featuring an interesting piece about Gunpowder temple of Heaven and BCM in general by Bruce Russell(Dead C, Handful of Dust) and a full and handy BCM  Discoraphy thus far. Another step and chapter in this highly prolific artists work, not a highlight but certainly worth a go as he uncovers new and different curls in his distinctive sound worlds.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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