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Specky Records UK / Cosmic Primitive USA

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  Indoor Miner  

I've been following Glowpeople's developments via Soundcloud for the past year or two now, so it's nice to finally have a proper release that collects some of their finest numbers in a lovely, trippy looking digipack, too! Glowpeople's sounds are mainly improvised, but the musicians involved have clearly developed a real understanding during their time together. Let me assure you that these are recordings where the personnel gel and play off each other in an almost telepathic manner rather than some half-arsed ramblings of a few mates mucking about in their bedroom.

Things... opens strongly with Things Went Wrong, which is one of the best tracks on the album for me. A funky backbeat plays as a sampled voice tells us that "Things went wrong, things went right...things went totally bad" before a distant trumpet starts playing over some shimmery guitar effects. Everywhere follows and is an altogether more chilled creature with a repetitive Jah Wobble-like bassline holding things together whilst some dreamy, spaced out sounds play over the top. The nine minute long Metaphorical is another that benefits from a sampled voice that pops in and out from time over some relentless post-punk bass playing. And all the time, the other instruments play across each other but somehow manage to provide a feeling of space rather than over-crowding.

The two shorter numbers here - the jazzy Resound In H Flat and Crespular with its lazy, almost dubby feel don't quite engage me in the same way as the previous tracks do, but With You Without soon gets us back on track. It opens with seagull noises before things get all late night, basement jazz club on us. I can almost see John Cassavetes in the guise of late 50s private detective Johnny Staccato making his way down the stairs to the bar and, ultimately, his next adventure as the trumpeter plays something resembling Summertime over a jazzy bassline. The album ends with The Saddest Flower In the Vase which features some lovely ethereal sounds over a funky beat. There's a real live feeling to this one, with the drums almost sounding like they're in the same room as the listener. Along with Things Went Wrong, this is probably the highlight of the album for me.

There's some pretty chilled out moments here, but please don't mistake that for blandness as there are times when the result of the musician's interplay has an almost unsettling effect. I've not caught them live as yet, but on the evidence presented here it's really not hard to understand why they're becoming a regular fixture on the UK festival circuit.

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