Wednesday 29 January 2014

Review: Laura J Martin – Dazzle Days

Laura J Martin – Dazzle Days (Static Caravan)
“Dazzle Days”, Laura J Martin’s second LP, is a charming and playful work of fantasy. Recorded with Tunng's Mike Lindsay and synth historian Benge, the Asian and African tinged arrangements are full bodied and heavily percussive, inspired by golden age composers such as Francois de Roubaix and Sven Libaek.

To this rich tapestry Laura adds her signature flute, as well as mandolin, melodica and other instruments, and her songs are sung as if in child-like awe of their imaginary surroundings. Her high registered quirkiness recalls Kate Bush.

It would be fair to say that the stronger tunes have been sequenced purposefully early on - like “Red Flag” which takes pixie tiptoes through the rainforest, “Dream of Sin”, within which its carnival of percussion and fretless bass hosts an interlude of repetitions, a-la Phillip Glass, and “Sour Grapes”, with its playground rhyme wildly juxtaposed to a Bhangra beat. From thereon the scenery is painted and the tunes skip through each naïve and dreamy act to the goodnight prayer of “Closed Hands”.

“Dazzle days” is Impish, colourful and takes you away from this grey world for around 45 minutes… which is always nice. It also has to be said that Laura does a great job of recreating these tunes live (and solo) using pre-recorded and live loops.

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