Graham Reid | | 1 min read
This techno-pop, Pro Tools-folktronic
album by Manchester's one-man band Marc Rigelsford finally gets
belated local release (it appeared in the UK a year ago). But it's
timely with the Band on the Run reissue because Rigelsford's
reference points are the younger McCartney and classic Beach Boys as
much early Beck and pre-fame Bright Eyes (the folktronic stuff) and
the woozy folkadelic pop of the Beta Band.
All those are excellent models upon
which Magic Arm (Rigelsford with occasional help from a drummer,
trumpeter and violinist) build their reconstructed pop where the Sixties collides with Seventies sonic beeps and gritty electronic washes, dreamy
ballads (Outdoor Games) and Daft Punk. (He has a minimalist
electro-piece called Daft Punk is Playing at My House).
Magic Arm are pleasing unpredictable:
Move Out opens with cheap electronic keyboard suggesting a
North African melody; Coach House is a charming instrumental
with finger-picking guitar behind the Lemon Jelly-like electronic
melodies; and Six Cold Feet of Ground is appropriately
funereal but has a weird old acoustic blues-pop feel (“always think
of me mama, that's a good man gone down . . . I ain't done nothin'
wrong”) before some McCartney-like doo-doo pop then Kraftwerk if
they ever got in a romantic mood. Odd.
Magic Arm/Rigelsford haven't made an
essential album, but the broad sweep, seductive pop alongside
machine-driven effects, and some standout tracks certainly make you
want to play this repeatedly – and hear more.