Album ReviewsReviews

Review: V.A. – LAILY 03 (2010)

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

detailed info:

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.


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)