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|1. The Darkling Plains|
|2. A Small Light In The Far West|
|3. The White Hart|
|6. I Fear You Just As I Fear Ghosts|
|8. Level 2 Small Bats|
|9. The Radio Sky|
|10. Glittering City|
|12. Altrincham Round|
|13. Captain Say Catastrophe|
|15. The Lost Heart|
|17. Mr. Keys|
While all critics and fans so far have been keen (and correct) to point out the parallels here between Spiro and systems music specialists such as Steve Reich or with other contemporary folk(ish) ensembles like Penguin Cafe Orchestra, there is a USP to Spiro's music. For one, it is far closer to folk traditions than it almost dares to admit. The rather arbitrary division of traditional and modern forms erroneously denies the linear heritage; for what is a jig or a reel, if not systems music before the term was coined? Secondly, their adherence to scales and instrumentality that all come with attendant rural connotations means that it takes a while to realise that this is staggeringly complex stuff.
Partly produced by Simon Emmerson, the man behind the Imagined Village project, Lightbox has no solos and no showboating, but considerable skill. Much like King Crimson's gamelan-like explorations in the 80s, this is cerebral music, precise and well thought out. If that makes you think of something cold and unfeeling, you'd be wrong.
Melodies that bleed through the warp and weft as on Underland or The White hart can be breathtakingly moving, and their ear for understanding how to build something towards a dazzling climax means that even if you don't experience them on disc, you should most definitely catch them live. Without a doubt it'll be quite a spectacle. --Chris Jones
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I so wanted to love this album. When I put it on I was quite taken with it. But this album is the opposite of a "grower", a "shrinker" perhaps? It is less than the sum its parts. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mr. Martin Hardy
Such joyful music! Inspiring - and this group are brilliant live.
Personally, this beats any of the other folk on my iPod hands down!
Some CDs grab you immediately, whilst some take a few listens to reveal their full charms. Spiro's CD Lightbox is definitely one of the latter. Read morePublished on 28 Nov. 2009 by Steve Mansfield
I have just come back from seeing this band at a festival and they were a real highlight for me! I haven't heard anything like this before, the sound they create from just four... Read morePublished on 28 July 2009 by Mr. L. M. DAVIES