Delicate Steve: Positive Force (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Delicate Steve: Wally Wilder
Delicate Steve: Positive Force (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

Appropriately on the usually left-field/world music label Luaka Bop, comes the indie/outsider New Jersey-based multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion who was hailed in the New York Times' review pages with his debut.

Marion writes and records everything himself on this instrumental album (aside from guests on wordless vocals) and manages to meld George Harrison's sentimental slide playing style, a lo-fi Santana in fiddly-twiddle mode and romantic downbeat balladry alongside some eerie Indo-ambient electronic whoopery of no fixed genre and chunky MOR stadium rock as rendered by an indie artist (think a $12 Toto on Afria Talks To You)

Yep, it's an odd concoction and at its best (the vaguely Chinese-cum-Hawaiian sounding title track, the delightfully weightless Luna which closes proceedings) it possesses an uplifting, exotic pop quality.

The opener Ramona Reborn however with lo-fi piano and repetitive fingers-on-blackboard slide guitar isn't the most enticing intro (it makes sense after getting what he's up) and often the impression is of instrumental music in search of a vocalist as the melodies invite lyrics (the Harrison/Beach Boys-like Love).

That said, this is peculiarly engaging stuff because you aren't quite sure where it has come from or is going to.

So an oddly engaging lo-fi second album that bewilders and beguiles. Prepare to be surprised and seduced.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Blackfield: Blackfield IV (Kscope/Southbound)

Blackfield: Blackfield IV (Kscope/Southbound)

This century has seen the rehabilitation of prog-rock. Generations which weren't around for punk's late Seventis scorched-earth policy towards progressive tendencies are finding something in... > Read more

Various Artists: John Cale, Conflict and Catalysis (Big Beat/Border)

Various Artists: John Cale, Conflict and Catalysis (Big Beat/Border)

Although his former comrade in the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, gets the column inches and slavish devotion, a serious career consideration would say John Cale has made the more interesting music... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

Although at a first encounter the narration to this series -- 29 major architects and/or buildings in separate episodes over five DVDs -- might seem a little dry and distant, you warm to it as the... > Read more

CHICAGO SOUL, BLUES AND FUNK IN THE SIXTIES: Moving the Chess pieces

CHICAGO SOUL, BLUES AND FUNK IN THE SIXTIES: Moving the Chess pieces

In 2002 after a Rolling Stones concert in Chicago I asked my friend, who lived in the city, to take me down to 2120 South Michigan Avenue, the old home of Chess Records. Aside from wanting to... > Read more