LITTLEBOW - THE EDGE BLOWN AEROPHONE
Released on CD in 2011 on SECOND LANGUAGE
Perhaps the most lyrical of the orchestral woodwinds,
the flute has been given something of a raw deal
by successive generations of rock-centric commentators
who have taken a few of prog’s more excessive dalliances with the instrument
and used them to render it a pariah, lazily overlooking the flute’s vital contribution
to such landmark releases as Love’s Forever Changes, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds,
Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Pharaoh Sanders’ Karma –
not to mention its consistently sublime presence in the early work of Kraftwerk.
The boundless versatility of the flute is the sine qua non of this debut album by littlebow,
the duo of Keiron Phelan (State River Widening, Smile Down Upon Us)
and Katie English (Isnaj Dui, The Owl Service).
Its ten, exquisitely realised tracks run through a whole gamut of soundscapes:
introspective night ambiences and sweeping melancholy
(‘The Crooked Post Men Of Pershore’);
overdriven, Reichian rhythmic assaults (‘Oarsmen’s Lament’ –
inspired by the classic Jason And The Argonauts clashing rocks scene);
lavish, Morricone-esque textures (‘It’s Too Steep A Climb (For A Really Cheap Horse)’);
baroque, Basil Kirchin-like vignettes (‘Girl With Orange Umbrella’) and neo-prog riff-pop
(“For Thijs” – a good-humoured nod to Focus frontman Thijs Van Leer) –
all of it brimming with unexpected melodic and harmonic twists.
Orla Wren remixed the track The Crooked Men Of Pershore.