Review: V.A. - LAILY 03 (2010)


artist: Vari­ous
release: LAILY 03
format: CDr
year of release: 2010
label: Laily
dur­a­tion: 36:32

detailed info:  dis​cogs​.com

This com­pil­a­tion is the third release on the Laily Record­ings label, bring­ing together a selec­tion of instru­mental tracks from con­tem­por­ary folk and exper­i­mental artists, includ­ing label owner Mark Kluzek’s pro­ject The Doomed Bird of Provid­ence.

Key­board­ist Jayson Cooper opens the album with a mel­an­cholic piano piece in a suit­able rever­ber­at­ing lo-fi pro­duc­tion, sug­gest­ing mourn­ful sounds in a dusty par­lour some­where. Both Flake Brown and Phil Manchester bring folk tra­di­tion­als in an instru­mental arrange­ment on solo gui­tar and delayed cello, respect­ively. Both also suf­fer from the same prob­lem: a lack of skill to con­vin­cingly deliver such a piece when the listener’s atten­tion is fully focused on the instru­mental play­ing. The Doomed Bird of Providence’s “Dives and Laz­arus” fares much bet­ter in its stark accor­dion set­ting. Michael Tan­ner’s Plinth has the longest track, and one of the nicest, with the relax­ing acous­tic ambi­ent drones of “Dul­ci­mer Music 2”. Rev Simp­kins con­trib­utes two dense exper­i­mental organ piece with some pretty melod­ies at their base, but a lot of noisy swells and dis­son­ance as well. The final  piece is also an organ work, but by album opener Cooper again. “Inter­lock­ing Mys­ter­ies of the Divine Labyrinth” is a beau­ti­ful epic piece with a touch of min­imal music influ­ence thrown in.

The release is a bit hodge-podge in mul­tiple respects. The hand­made cover is cobbled together from card­board and vague prints of what must have been rather nice mixed-media abstract visu­als. The res­ult is a bit so-so, reflect­ing some of the less attract­ive lean­ings of cot­tage industry. The same goes for the music, which ranges from dis­ap­point­ing to quite good, but never spec­tac­u­lar. As such LAILY 03 is a nice enough com­pil­a­tion, and cer­tainly worth check­ing out if you fancy new works by one or more of the con­trib­ut­ing artists, but it could also have been a whole lot bet­ter.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Jayson Cooper - Lonely Hearts (3:56)
2. Flake Brown - Hardi­man The Fid­dler (2:42)
3. Phil Manchester - The Gath­er­ing Song (2:52)
4. The Doomed Bird Of Provid­ence - Dives And Laz­arus (2:15)
5. Plinth - Dul­ci­mer Music 2 (9:18)
6. Rev Simp­kins - Jericho Part 2 (4:10)
7. Rev Simp­kins - Love Unknown (4:31)
8. Jayson Cooper - Inter­lock­ing Mys­ter­ies Of The Divine Labyrinth (6:52)

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