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perjantai 26. tammikuuta 2018

Mark McDowell and Friends - Dark Weave


I first noticed Mark McDowell from Bristol when Fruits de Mer Records released a split 7" with him and Octopus Syng in 2014. He does have several releases on his Bandcamp site and Dark Weave is the latest. It's really nice to know that people are still making great, experimental acid folk that has both emotion and psychedelic elements. Although Mark is the song-writer and main man here this is not a solo effort since the album features several friends and some of the stuff has been recorded in San Francisco and some in Presteigne, Wales. The album is mostly acoustic in nature, but also has for example electic guitar, keyboards and spacey synthesizers to boost. I love Mark's vocals and the female singer Hannah Moriah is also excellent. Great vocals are of course a necessity in folk-based music like this. Strings and percussion are also most welcome.

The album has eleven tracks that are all in the 3 to 5:30 minute range. The instrumental title track starts off with dark synth drone and then soft acoustic guitar and percussion join in. I can hear echoes of the cream of the old UK acid psych acts, wonderful. There's something ancient and something from outer space. "Service of the Owls" has beautiful twin-vocals and a melancholic mood. "Look in the Dust" is a bit more on-going and has a steady beat. Great melodies and also some fuzz solo guitar! "Walking Back to You" is more folky and reminds me of Magna Carta a bit. Positive vibe on this one. "Spirit of Love" even brings to mind Syd Barrett in some ways. Then Mark kicks in the acid folk gear again with the wonderful, magical instrumental "Celequiem". Celestial stuff indeed. "Light of Love" (that I also included on my latest Astral Visions Mixcloud show) begins with experimental space sounds and then the hypnotic, totally spell-bounding going starts. This will take you into a trance! One of the highlights for sure. I also like "Forgiven", a bit more up-tempo song about spirit worlds. The endelss stream of killer tunes just continues with "Message Sent". This could very well be a Soft Hearted Scientists song. "Elizabeth" is more traditional folk in style and not bad at all. The superb album is finished with the slow and ethereal "Light Up the Town" that once again has some amazing melodies and moods. I must say that I really enjoy this album, hopefully someone would also release it on vinyl! You can, however, already buy the CD or download from Bandcamp.

UPDATE: the album will be released on vinyl by Friends of the Fish very soon!

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