The sophomore album from Flanger Magazine ditches the solo aesthetics and welcomes in a team of players to support the open-concept folk of Christopher Bush. Members of The Other Years, Sapat, and Caboladies join in as Bush melds his library-inflected folk with woodwinds, strings, field recordings, and a sense of searching for something beyond the reeds on After The Bend. Biting into the magnetic tape trail of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Flanger Magazine wields noise and sweetness in equal doses on the record. Moving from dissonance to the sweeping, cinematic strains of “Interior, Olmstead,” the band plays rough with the instincts that feed into their library music notions, while scratching hard at itches that lean towards free folk, jazz, and ambient.
Field recordings thread through the record, infusing a sense of nature into the mix. The juxtaposition of pastoral float, roughly folded sax passages and deteriorating electronics rears its head on “Sympathies To The River,” carving out brittle hackles inside of moments of enlightenment. As the album comes to a close, the corrosion takes hold, pushing the perfumed passages aside in favor of a chaos that bite holes in their more sonorous offerings like a moth with pixelated proboscis. The record erodes the notion of virtuosity, letting the resplendence rust in the rain that falls onto the band’s cleaner moments. With the addition of a solid backing crew, Bush has created a record that’s never still, never stagnant. It’s alive, insistent, and refuses to let itself be pinned to any kind of constant direction.
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