This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.
In 2007, the Dorset-based multi-instrumentalist and founder of the Dorset Paeans record label released, ‘Plays Victorian Machine Music’ – an EP made up entirely from sounds generated by antiquated parlor machines and music boxes. Tanner has also played as a member of Pantaleimon, Directorsound, United Bible Studies and with Sharron Kraus live. Glen Johnson founded the Anglo-French “ghost-rock” unit, Piano Magic, in 1996 and since then has released over 30 records on a multitude of different labels, from 4AD to Morr Music to Important Records, including collaborations with Low, Vashti Bunyan, Cornershop and Tarwater. In 2004, his debut album as Textile Ranch, ‘Bird Heart In Wool,’ a portfolio of abstract, melodic electronica, was released on the Very Friendly label. A further Textile Ranch album will see the light of day in Spring 2009. Tanner and Johnson may have met on the internet but their collaboration here relied greatly on Her Majesty’s Royal Mail service, swapping files by post, adding, subtracting, remoulding, magnifying found sounds and home recordings. Angele David-Guillou, a regular contributor to Piano Magic recordings and chanteuse with her own project, Klima (s/t album on Peacefrog, 2007) generously guests on vocals and other instruments here, whilst the mysterious Ms Autumn Grieve adds further voicings.
This one-off collaboration marks the 51st release for Make Mine Music, the pioneering British independent label that is owned, financed and maintained by its artists. ‘The Rest, I Leave To The Poor’ comes as a strictly ltd edition, letter-pressed sleeve of recycled chipboard with red metallic ink finish. Essential Listening!
released January 6, 2008
Glen Johnson and Michael Tanner
Angele David-Guillou and Autumn Grieve (vocals)
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