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The Stranger — Watching Dead Empires in Decay (2013)

 The Stranger — Watching Dead Empires in Decay (2013)

The Stranger — Watching Dead Empires in Decay
Ξ   In league with plunderphonic pirates and dancefloor punks like Stock, Hausen & Walkman, Kid-606, and DJ Olive, Manchester's V/Vm ("volume versus mass") crew brought a well-needed boot to the backside of the increasingly humorless dance scene of the late '90s, polarized on one side by mindless club trance and on the other by self-serious bedroom boffins.
Born: 1974
Origin: Stockport, England
Location: UK
Album release: October 29, 2013
Record Label: Modern Love
Duration:     45:23
Tracks:
1. We Are Enemies But Not Here     2:35
2. So Pale It Shone in the Night     6:17
3. Spiral of Decline     4:29
4. We Scarcely See Sunlight     5:15
5. Providence or Fate     5:25
6. Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?     7:14
7. Grey Day Drift     5:41
8. Ill Fares the Land     3:03
9. About to Enter a Strange New Period     5:24
REVIEW
By Alex Hudson
Ξ   British sound shaper James Leyland Kirby is a man of many names, having released music as V/Vm, the Caretaker and Leyland Kirby. He also sometimes works as the Stranger, and it’s under this name that he will drop Watching Dead Empires in Decay on October 29 through Modern Love.
Ξ   This is the follow-up to 2008's Bleaklow, and according to the label, Watching Dead Empires in Decay is a beguiling listening experience that forgoes obvious samples or electronic elements. The announcement goes on to call the album “complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just can’t work out how it was constructed. Gone are the sampled 78s of the Caretaker, but it also doesn’t exactly sound electronic — you just can’t quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field recordings? Found sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? It’s stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling — but often just beautiful.” (http://exclaim.ca/)
Notes:
Ξ   The Caretaker is a long-running project by electronic musician James Kirby alongside his better-known project V/Vm. Initially the project was inspired by the haunted ballroom scene in the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining, with the first several releases consisting of dark ambient with intermittent orchestral segues and flourishes.
Ξ   The Caretaker releases the majority of his work on the V/Vm Test Records label. Ξ   Older works have received critical acclaim in publications as diverse as Russian Playboy and the BBC and the project was a favourite of legendary BBC Radio DJ John Peel who regularly played audio by The Caretaker on his shows.
Website: http://www.brainwashed.com/vvm/
Bandcamp: http://leylandkirby.bandcamp.com/
Allmusic.com: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/leyland-james-kirby-mn0002023250/credits
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The Stranger — Watching Dead Empires in Decay (2013)

 

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