11 Dec 2011

The Advisory Circle - As The Crow Flies - Obscure Classics ( Review )

Great Albums You May Have Missed

The Advisory Circle - As The Crow Flies ( 2011 )

Jon Brook's Advisory Circle are at the forefront of the Hauntology movement.
Hauntology is as much an aesthetic as it is a musical movement, so it's not the easiest to define. The best definition I've come across is that it's the present being haunted by the sounds of the past. Boards of Canada's Geogaddi album is often cited as the first Hauntological record, but it's the U.K's Ghost Box label that are leading the way now, and this is their highest profile release so far.
The Advisory Circle approach Hauntology via the sort of synth based music that you hear on seventies public information films and English T.V shows of a similar timeframe. For those that find that prospect intimidating ( or tedious ), there's also a touch of Italian proggies Goblin, and side two of David Bowie's Low to hopefully make things a little more palatable.
True this is nostalgia, but it's a forward thinking nostalgia - our musical present as the electronic mavericks of yesteryear imagined it would be. And if films like 2001 have taught us anything, it's that the future never ends up quite as we expect.
Keeping with the very English approach As The Crow Flies is based on seasonal change, and Brook's takes the opportunity to bring in some more pastoral elements.
Acoustic guitars make an appearance on a few tracks - but folk music this certainly isn't.
Brook's pop smarts are pretty astute and for a mostly instrumental album, this has some very memorable pieces.
The title track coasts along on a nice wave of percussion which wouldn't sound out of place on a Radiohead album, while Modern Through Movement and Everyday Hazards have classic lost tv theme written all over them.
Final track, Lonely Signalman shows even more growth and has heavily treated vocoder vocals, which aren't able to mask the fact that this is a wee gem of a space age pop song.
So definitely not for everyone, but if you're feeling nostalgic or adventurous check out the samples below.
A new favourite of mine.

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