Little Crackd Rabbit
You might know Philipson from his work as producer or play with The Woodbine & Ivy Band, Nancy Elizabeth or Starless & Bible Black but here, he offers his debut solo album, recorded in one night it’s a set of stark and wonderful guitar pieces, no guitar-hero here, almost guitar-zero at times, so buried in delay – recorded live, slowly unfurling, strange and beautiful slow-drones so hypnotic (Memory of Marshall Howe) eventually building up to celestial majesty (The Dane and The Goyt) via short soundtrack-esque interludes (At The Tallest Gates).
You can hear that Philipson has spent time worshiping at the altar of Robin Guthrie, re-reading the book of Frippertronics.
The Eno and Fripp material, Eno’s (solo) ambient recordings, the work of Adrian Utley – that all resonates here – but it’s the church setting (recorded in Manchester) and the layers of sound that make room for (and include) space and silence; that’s what resonates, the deliberate holding back. Suddenly heavenly – eerie – melodies appear, spiralling up from these quiet nearly-drone pieces, so soft, so lovely, often spooky.
You can draw the link from ambient to post-rock obviously and P.J. Philipson’s offerings here would sit right in the middle, the bisecting point. Peaks is full of emotional peaks, gorgeous and spellbinding, creepy at times, but always intriguing.