Slow Electric: Slow Electric (Panegyric/Southbound)

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Slow Electric: Criminal Caught in the Crime
Slow Electric: Slow Electric (Panegyric/Southbound)

If the name Guided by Voices hadn't already been claimed, it could apply to this collaboration between vocalist/pianist Tim Bowness and keyboard player/software designer Peter Chilvers with Estonians Robert Jurjendal (guitars) and trumpeter Aleksei Saks who perform as UMA.

Existing somewhere between wistful and ethereal ambient music, Miles Davis' emotionally distant trumpet and wispy ballads, these six pieces make use of loops, Robert Fripp-like guitar textures, minimalism and electronica while keeping one ear on glacially slow Brian Eno-type ambient pop.

The lyrics might not be their strongest point but it's hard not to be drawn into this often weightless otherworld of post-rock by musicians with experimental backgrounds (Chilvers has worked with Eno) and an ear turned to coolly intellectual European jazz on the ECM label.

Their path has been cleared by the likes of trumpeters Jon Hassell, Enrico Rava and Tomasz Stanko, the dreamy balladry of Miracle Mile and David Sylvian, and Fripp-Eno albums No Pussyfooting and Evening Star of the early Seventies.

While nothing here quite reaches those heights, this is a mood piece for those times when quiet is of more interest than volume, and subtlety a greater virtue than throat-grabbing intensity.

Using live recordings as its basis with overdubbed vocals and other parts (bassist Tony Levin guesting on two tracks), this is more slow than electric, but seemingly guided by mysterious voices in its own way.

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