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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Leverton Fox - Country Dances [Gravid Hands - 2010]

This projects name and album title is somewhat misleading, they both suggest a retired bluegrass singer trying to jump back on the wagon. But instead stands a trio that is most likely to make anyone buying this album  for some real country music, very  dazed and confused. Though the  albums cover, a Robert Wyatt sort of combination between naÔve child's drawing and a demented alien scribble, does reveal in fact there will be no country music here.

UK based Leverton Fox are Alex Bonney, Tim Giles and Matt Groom. And on the ten tracks recorded for this album, they focus on improvising together and finding their way between different angles of electronic, psychedelic and jazz music. Listeners will probably notice that Bonney, Giles and Groom can play as tight and cooperative as the next band, creating together what sounds like a well thought of track simply by improvising, but they can also allow themselves to drift away from each other in order to make things sound even stranger than they already are.

The distorted heart beats of the track "Radar Remote" are answered by tribal percussions and dim industrial eruptions that let Leverton Fox grab your attention right from the beginning. The next track, "Prang" is much wilder, letting different rhythms collide with each other, twisting and breaking their music playing until at one point you canít be sure what you are listening to; is it jazzy composition or electronic malfunction noises?. As the album goes into more extreme places, tracks begin to sound like broken radio transmissions from outer space, like the track "Rubber out". This, however, is never the product of random sounds thrown together blindly and thoughtlessly. Instead, this is the outcome of a great joint effort of these three men, done professionally and thoughtfully.

If at the beginning of the album the music was more rhythmic, even playful, then towards the end we get some sinister vibes from the long drones and abstract musical environment. From the wonderful and desolate "Vulpecula" we go on to "Spectre & wagon" with it's detuned sounds, as another step in the process of making this album sound more and more demented and less and less naÔve. "Country Dances" is original and impressive, itís a great debut album for this group, making me want to find out what will their next album sound like.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

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