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about

Improv Lutist and outer-fringes collaborator extraordinaire Wissem here joins hands with cult Irish types United Bible Studies. From the off this is a lush sounding record, title track 'Downland' sounding a little like James Blackshaw gone all cosmic and that with whooshing astral noises & an ominous drone being the undercurrent beneath some sweet thoughtful guitar. UBS vocalist Alison O' Donell pops up with her wide-eyed theatrical tones on the second track 'Seven Tears', a song imbued with meandering psych-rock elements under the jaunty acoustic guitar. Side one ends with a piece of stuttering, stumbling de-tuned experimentation that remains largely listenable due to its use of field recordings, intimate acoustics & blatant drunken charm. The opening track of side two sounds quite demented in a barking acid folk pixie way. Has me thinking of Comus or Gong in spirit. It's certainly a wide-eyed cyclic, gibbering sprite of a tune. Like the space invader noise throughout. You can never have too many space invader noises on a record. On the subsequent tune Wissem's feminine vocals are found fleshing-out an impassioned piece of haughty folk minimalism. The penultimate track is a more challenging, difficult beast that folds both ethereal, medieval & discordant rock elements. One for fans of Trembling Bells & the more esoteric end of Appendix Out, the closer is a magical dream-like folk-rock piece with choral vocals, chiming acoustic interplay and there's even what sounds like a hurdy gurdy in there. A cracking conclusion to a most interesting and diverse collection. - Brian, www.normanrecords.com

credits

released 04 April 2011
Paul Condon:
Acoustic Slide Guitar on Trade Boys For Prostitutes Sell Girls For Wine
Bass on Seven Tears, Come Holy Ghost and The Seas Have Lifted Up Their Voice.

Diarmuid MacDiarmada:
Percussion on The Seas Have Lifted Up Their Voice

Alison O'Donnell:
Percussion on Seven Tears
Vocals on Downland, Seven Tears, Come Holy Ghost, Altars Of Brick (The Day Is Coming) and The Seas Have Lifted Up Their Voice.

Áine O'Dwyer:
Harp on Downland, Seven Tears, Trade Boys For Prostitutes Sell Girls For Wine

Ivan Pawle:
Hurdy Gurdy on Downland
Synth on Downland, Seven Tears and Come Holy Ghost.

Gavin Prior:
Acoustic Guitar on Trade Boys For Prostitutes Sell Girls For Wine
Electric Guitar on Seven Tears, I Rith na hOíche and The Seas Have Lifted Up Their Voice
Feedback on Downland
Field Recordings on Trade Boys For Prostitutes Sell Girls For Wine
Percussion on I Rith na hOíche
Synth on Downland and I Rith na hOíche
Vocals on Downland and I Rith na hOíche

Jozef van Wissem:
Lute

Recorded by Diarmuid MacDiarmada, JeffreyPerrin, Gavin Prior and Jozef van Wissem in Amsterdam, Dublin and Galway.

Mixed by Gavin Prior

Mastered By Steve Fanagan

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about

United Bible Studies Ireland

Mostly based in Ireland and the UK UBS have taken on many forms since forming in 2001. UBS is rooted in folk music but has taken many tangents. Live shows throughout Ireland and Britain and the USA have seen them wildly improvise with up to twelve members or play straight trad. "The Dreamlike States Of United Bible Studies" documents their US tour and their folk/exploratory approaches. ... more

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