on 16 July 2013
The missing spark that Leodhasach mentions is not in fact a matter of the sound reproduction, but quite simply Adam Sutherland on fiddle. The original bass player Somhairle MacDonald also jumped ship during preparations for this second album, but the sudden departure of the fiddler to Peatbog Faeries was a torpedo strike to the long-term viability of the bereft band. He was not replaced.
It meant that front-line responsibilities for the music were centrally on the shoulders of John Somerville's accordion, offset by his brother Misha's whistles. The headlong double frontline of the first album (Attention All Personnel), plus the harmonics and decorations of the whistles as extra tracery and thrill, was gone. And this changed the sound, the permutations.
Having said that, in some ways I prefer this second album to the first and only other album Croft #5 produced. Challenged (during preparations for Talk to the Future) to rethink the group's soundscapes entirely, they produced less of a driving, vertiginously exhilarating ride, but a richer, mellower, perhaps even wiser blend, and more of a world feel as well. With more electronics, but without schmaltz or cheap effects.
Both albums, though very different in nature and appeal, are very worth having.
on 11 October 2004
I love this album! First track ELephant rumbles in like something by Page and Plant from teh UnLedded sessions, the midddle is strangely Pink Floyd round about their Meddle period (am positive that Cyanara starts of with the cash register effect from Dark Side's Money), then the second half kicks off, first with Taxi for O'Neill, but the piece de resistance is the double whammy of Sputnik, a cover of the legendary Martyn Bennett track from Bothy Culutre and Party in the Arc, like Happy Hardcore with Accordions and penny whistle. Closing track PAssing Train is an otherwordly cut, that evokes dreich, autumnal Glasgow about lighting up time. This album may be bracketed as folk but it goes beyond any preheld conceptions of that maligned genre and crucifies the stereotypes. Buy this wonderful album and be enlightened.