Review of original Music Fellowship CD version of 'Matanuska'
First proper actual cd full length from this blissy UK free folk crew, after a clutch
of (now out of print) cd-r's and a collaborative disc with the North Sea. Matanuska
begins as a gloriously blissful late afternoon, sunshiney slab of fuzzy, buzzy, muted
pop ambience, sparkling and glimmering, there are guitars, but they aren't plucked or
strummed so much as spread like a thick glaze over the speakers. Within this gorgeous
sun dappled soundfield, are tangled up bits of found sounds, distant ringing bells,
rumbling thunder, as well as subtle layers of drone and shimmer adding mystery and
depth to each track.
The rest of the record however is not so sunshiney, the mood is much more dark and
shadowy, lit by moonlight, rumbles and whirs swirled into lush late night crawls,
acoustic guitars draped over slow serene swells of sound, the buzz of steel strings
muted and drawn out into simple shimmering ragas, the vibe is definitely sorrowful,
melancholy, with minor key melodies drifting through intricate webs of abstract
Appalachia, wheezing layered drones spread out like a late afternoon fog, amidst
chirping birds and distant bits of conversation, a slowly shifting bit of minimal
dreamdrone that brightens subtly as it works its way though the disc.
The record finishes up with the sun peeking out from behind the clouds, like that
glorious first day of Spring, the birds once again singing, the shimmering sounds
soaking up the sunlight, a drifting drone, warm and glowing, a hopeful dreamy
sound that blossoms like a flower after a rainstorm, the hushed buzz growing fuzzier
and fuzzier, almost like a fading memory. So nice.