A story from the fields of dreams; from the seasons of inner mortality retreating into riddles of memory.
Looking After The Duck is a masterful craft, spilling an abundance of emotion without superimposition or myriad sound designs; rather seizing the breath of the listener through an adventure of minimal instrumentation: structuring scenic palpation’s.
To say Crumpsall Riddle executed their soundscapes with finesse doesn’t quite do them justice. Looking After The Duck is a hero’s loss; a distant memory communicating through the rhythms and cycle’s of the environment around us. In the language of effervescent shadows lurking in nebulous cloud; through a delicate, angelic voice shining through these constituents in a grandeur display of shimmering hope. The man in this album appears to be seeking through inner turmoil; voyaging through the textures of recollection and finding the realm of meaning hidden behind the landscapes of past and present.
Looking After The Duck is the soon-to-be-released full-length album from Crumpsall Riddle. Released April 10, 2020 through the masterful Wormhole World label as an eco-friendly CD.
Crumpsall Riddle is Steven Ball and Jude Cowan Montague. The two improvised these songs in three live sessions during August and September 2019 at the cabin at Crossmead, Mottingham. Matt Armstrong plugged in the mics and contributed electric bass. Yllos, the duck, is now living in her forever home at Spitalfields City Farm. Ball and Montague are both regular artists on Richard Sanderson’s Linear Obsessional label but are moonlighting on Wormhole Records for their debut outing as a duo.Crumpsall Riddle
Dear Marjorie symbolizes a peaceful stance in an austere environment; awakening from a somnolent slumber in the midst of a quiet chaos lurking inward: instruments swirl with an ethereal energy sinking the listener into luscious, scintillating valleys. An accordion sings with the harmonious, angelic perfection of Jude Montague’s voice – sonorously ringing through melancholic dissonance. Whistling envelopes the silent background looping continuously through melange instruments and arrangements delicate to the senses, running through apperceptive forms.
The beautiful introduction and sense of peace falls into clean, minimalism from Ghost That Dances, a desolate energy bleeding throughout; spilling in abundance a rush of creative material and carefully constructed arrangements.
Ghost That Dances starts with a haunting minimal bass thumping through the grain of silence. Steven Ball’s voice is crisp and perfectly articulate.
Palpate the dance of mystery, the dance of unbounded material. The green earth swirls and envelopes us into musical flesh. Soft breathing reverberates behind his voice; obstructed but nonetheless, symbolizing the sarcophagus of inner mortality.
“Memories are dead, no more tomorrow.” A breath of lifeless incredulity sweeps through the chambers of abandonment and loss. 8-bit synthesizers dissonantly structure themselves in repeating empty space of composition, and the cosmic thrust into evocation. Pulsating, pounding; eclectic synths sing until suddenly we are greeted with stillness.
One incredible touch to this album was executing the incredulous contrast between their voice; utilizing this element to convey their story palpably and allow the listener to freely explore while also tethered to the album’s environment: much like the structure of a finely crafted story; conveying messages and significance through characters.
Hiding From The Sun introduces rich synths and this harmonious factor; an arc resembling redolent sadness. Here, the song sets up this element firmly, introducing this usage carefully and precisely; as if setting up the characters of this adventurous album as we venture deeper into mystery.
Looking After The Duck is a nice groove, clave’s stab through reverberating sonority, while a bass softly steps through light percussive patterns. The sweet and blissful voices ascend us into the air, into Susan’s Cloud.
Susan’s Cloud is subtle and somber-filled; synths introduce us to the serenity encompassed by Jude Cowan Montague’s voice harmonizing with this wholesome sonic sound as Steven Ball sings through delicate strands of composition. A story introducing us to the character of thought existing in a laboratory of creativity, revealing the landscape that surrounds us.
A description of the past sunk into titanic seas of ancient, distant language; a memory fueled through flesh and blood but yet so foreign and atavistic that it might as well not be real.
The Old Man brings us to the existential birth of an individual. Beginning with a dirty sonic introduction perfectly articulated Steven Ball sings through a joyous accordion; dynamically fluctuating a sentient of this world, a mortal to a wisdom-filled plant.
Spring calls us from behind the cold, ambient curtain.
This song is definitely my favorite from the album, pulling you into the skin of the earth and inculcating a sense of wisdom and pride through the slumber of recollection.
This album is more a story of musical adventure rather than containing your typical song. Many of the sounds and arrangements resemble this spheroidal dream remarking the human condition of all its strife. An organic and eclectic atmosphere but with a cold and silent energy singing an amicable nature while expressing softly the vault of emotion.
Crumpsall Riddle executed their trademarks perfectly: a homogeneity of minimal quality lapping into visceral sensation and congruent instrument shapes sinuously gliding through the velvet strangeness of ambiance and electronic treatments, and most importantly paying attention to how they supply each other. This was a very lovely album, enjoyed by anyone a fan of informality.