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the stranger - bleaklow (remastered) (2x12inch vinyl lp)

$23.28  $19.79
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ARTIST // the stranger
LABEL // history always favours the winners (uk)
CAT // haftw016lp


One of the most destitute and absorbing albums in Leyland Kirby's canon is finally given a much-needed vinyl pressing, following on from its initial CD release in 2008. Bleaklow is harrowing from the start, the opening "Something to Do with Death" reverberating dread via layers of unstable, radiant drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. "Solemn Dedication" adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it's on "Indefinite Ridge" that things really take a turn towards that eerie, destabilizing sound Kirby can do so well, like a standout BoC vignette pounded by the rattle of industrial machinery malfunctioning in the background; it's at once deeply unsettling and oddly comforting. "A Melody Drags Me Back" recalls the spirit of Kirby's best-known productions as The Caretaker, except in place of those old 78s you get just the vaguest hint of life and color beneath the endless layers of sonic unease. The album ends with "Ominous Sunset," an incredible 6-minute coda that's perhaps best compared to Kirby's Sadly, the Future Is No Longer What It Was set, sounding like Vangelis' score for Bladerunner aged and degraded yet still somehow conveying all its retro-futuristic romance. It's an astonishing ending to one of Kirby's finest albums. Fully remastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

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