Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 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

Fergus Kelly - Plate Spinning [Room Temperature - 2021]

This is a curious little release from Room Temperature, with Fergus Kelly delivering 17 tracks that arrive in a simple plastic wallet. It’s a solo effort - and it’s a huge, perhaps overwhelming effort. Summarised simply, the album largely consists of short tracks (stretching to about three minutes, with some slightly longer pieces and one long ten-minute work) constructed from rhythmic layers of bass, samples, but most of all percussion. 

The back cover lists ‘found metals & plastics, drums, gongs, cymbals…’ and these represent the predominant sound of the release. However, rather than industrial clanking, or percussive ‘drum circles,’ Kelly has constructed an album that almost operates as library music. There’s a sense that some of these pieces could work as sections of a soundtrack. The tracks are beautifully performed, with the samples adding extra colour; however, the initial problem, for me at least, is that there is just so much of it. I’m all for ample material, but as an album it feels overlong to me. Whilst Kelly has made every effort to pull new tricks from a quite basic set-up, the album becomes repetitive and increasing less compelling, perhaps not helped by the attempts to cover a broad range of ground - a shorter album focused on one narrow idea might paradoxically have been more engaging. Several of the pieces have a post-rock structure or feel to them - some, unfortunately, sound like they require finishing elements, in the same way that some duo bands just sound like they’re missing instruments. The general approach is rhythmic and melodic, with basslines providing the skeleton structure for the other elements; however, there are some beautiful textures and sounds along the way - the drones on ’Swirling Curvature’ for example.

I’m sure that back in the mists of time someone described the first Tortoise album as someone playing a bass on a windy building site, and, minus the wind, this is not a bad description here. However, where that Tortoise album deployed space and a sense of expansiveness so well, Plate Spinning is much more compressed and flat. Neither hyperactive, nor sedate, the album plods along without any enormous dynamic changes. There are several wonderful passages and moments, but they get lost in the labyrinthian mass of material. As I said, the album has definite soundtrack qualities - perhaps even cartoon-like qualities - and the bulk of the material is intelligent and crafted, but for me the album is too long, and suffers for it.

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

Martin P
Latest Reviews

Fergus Kelly - Plate Spinning
This is a curious little release from Room Temperature, with Fergus Kelly delivering 17 tracks that arrive in a simple plastic wallet. It’s a solo effo...
251121   Maartin Allcock - OX15
251121   Circus - Circus
251121   She Spread Sorrow - Huntress
251121   Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s R...
241121   Knocking - Knocking (digital)
241121   Grey Lady Down - Grey Lady Do...
231121   Sado Rituals - Histrionic Per...
231121   Le Banbole DI Velluto - Ankle...
231121   Serpentine - La Mano Oculta D...
221121   Various Artists - Lux And Ivy...
Latest Articles

Himukalt - Tense & unwell psychos...
Himukalt is a female-fronted,necro-fed and often uneasily psychosexual venture that blends elements of old school industrial, noise, and searing ‘n&rsq...
261021   Himukalt - Tense & unwell psy...
280921   SRS Cinema - Purveyors of gor...
070921   Tine Surel Lange - A Great E...
170821   theNightproduct - Walled Nois...
210721   Martyn Bates / Kodax Strophes...
150621   David Gregory - In The Land O...
270521   Root Cellar, Monolithic Torme...
120521   Patrick Picard - Geek-bound...
150421   Dosis Letalis - Walled Noise ...
170321   Shatraug - Into the Finnish B...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom