Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Meant to put this in Really Feeling (Old). The British Mysterious Traveller is how Joe Stannard tagged it, and that's spot on. Weather Report, if they came from Wiltshire. Fusion meets Fortean Times. "Glittering Circles" makes me think of crop circles. With its fragrant wafts of Swingly backing vocals, "Fair Mirage" is astral and anodyne: picture the imaginary squad of library musicians behind Other Channels finally getting a chance to let down their hair, stretch out, get expressive. John Martyn, one of numerous guests recruited by Ardley, lets off some hot licks, but the real stars here are the gyrating synths and the rhythm section. The bass has this tinted/colorized glow, the drums are doing this skippety funk, taut like a rubber band stretched to snapping point, and it sounds for all the world like "Flight"-era A Certain Ratio if they could really (really) play. Harmony came out in 1979--could ACR possibly have heard it? Seems unlikely. But I'm guessing Ultramarine must know and love this record.