Eric Lindley sings in a voice halfway between Colin Blunstone and Nick Drake but yet composes a la mellifluous Radiohead and glitch artists, yet with a discernment that seems bafflingly arcane and knowing…until it's understood he studied under James Tenney (catch that guy's New World-issued Selected Works 1961 - 1969 for an overview) and later adhered to the Fluxus movement. This, of course, legitimates him well before he utters a syllable or plucks a note.
Thus, Oh, Light arrives pregnant with expectation before the shrinkwrap is even wrenched from the disc. Providentially, not a whit of disappointment arises as cut after cut of sophisticatedly restrained invention parades before the listener's ears, whether invested in sparse plaintive lamentation or gorgeous billowing heavenscapes (We Give Up). Even more impressively, these carefully constructed atmospheres are wrought entirely by the composer playing various instruments while singing, sometimes on a desert isle, other times in cloudy layers. There's an extension—and a much needed one, I should add, considering how the format has been so ignored in music—of the Enossification processes that proved so providential to the Fripp & Eno, Roger Eno, Harold Budd, Genesis, and of, of course, Brian Eno works, among sundry others over the past two or more decades.
Promo lit mentions the influence of the field folk recordings of the rarefied Harry Smith, but deep Gong aficionados will recall another Harry: Harry Williamson and his work with Gilli Smyth and Daevid Allen on the unique Stroking the Tail of the Bird CD, using both natural field sounds and synth generated bird chirps and ornamentalia, subtleties much in the way of the nuances Careful revels in. Nestled in a mystic liner of symbolic import, Oh, Light even edges into Sigur Ros territory but is unique unto itself, so much so that I daresay it should become influential.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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