Grumbling Fur - Alice (Latitudes Session)

by Andy Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2012-05-28

Southern Records release another fine Latitudes Sessions record; this time it's the turn of Grumbling Fur. Grumbling Fur are a collective of underground musicians including Alexander Tucker and Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo/Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses). Tucker has collaborated with a number of musicians over his prolific career including Sunn0))) noise-maker Stephen O'Malley but this is a different beast altogether. Alice follows on from last year's well-received debut LP Furrier and is a rather fantastic listen.

'Wylderness Waiting' sounds like Brian Eno circa Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) or a Beta Band 7in slowed down to 33rpm. It's a darkly thrilling piece of music, full of quiet dangers and the possibilities of the night-time as they chant, "Antennas resonating, wilderness waiting for you". 'Solar Nights & Rainwater' creaks like wooden beams on an abandoned log-cabin as a lonesome piano and distant ethereal harmonies conjure up a rather beautiful sonic collage. As you may have picked up, Alice is very much a record for late at night (although I'm listening to it in the baking sun and it still sounds ace).

'Huthering Whites' (geddit!?) borrows the twinkling piano from Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights' and adds violins and a distant echoing production to stunning effect. It winds up what might well just be one of the finest records I've heard this year. As with most of the Latitudes Sessions, it's fairly short and fairly limited but Alice is well worth your time. Just under 20 minutes of music which recalls but never directly imitates Robert Wyatt, Brian Eno, The Beta Band and Kate Bush. Experimental, beautiful and unique; Alice is a record you can't afford to miss.

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