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Black September: Black September

Album Notes

Leave it to England -- specifically Manchester -- where this duo (with guest drummer) and label are from. The place still has a knack for unusual atmospheres. Imagine Patrick Fitzgerald of Kitchens of Distinction singing in his lower range for the last days of Joy Division (or the first days of New Order without the drum machine). Add a raspy cello on one song, and guitars that sound like keyboards on other perilous ones like the well-titled "Learning Silence." The music is circular, hypnotic, and gentle but not nice, like something out of a David Lynch movie. Stare at the radiant sleeve depicting the start of a forest (like the Cure's "A Forest" sleeve, another minor resemblance to the music), and you're reminded that the woods, like this CD, remains a labyrinth of hazard and apprehension, but it's intriguing, too. (A central American impression, given the "wilderness" the early European settlers encountered.) Not surprising, then, that mainman Geoff Read has a tiger-stripes beard, which looks fierce instead of utterly ridiculous, or that he refuses to play live, making sure you have to come into the woods to get to him. (36 Bridgegate, Hebden Bridge, W. Yorkshire, HX7 8EX, England, U.K.; mark@pomonahq.freeserve.co.uk) ~ Jack Rabid


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