I Am On Your Side
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Northerner returns with an album that places funk, house and dub influences within unlikely British experimental guitar and electronic settings.
"The Clint home stereo is the most fickle of mistresses with its Roman Abramovich style approach to hiring and firing each hopeful release daring to kneel before its crown. One disc that has managed to escape its wrath over the past month or so has been this, the excellent third album from West Yorkshire based Northerner.
Northerners previous releases have showcased a sound sandwiched somewhere between the plaintive guitar twiddling of Vini Reilly and the type of drifting ambience served up by hip micro labels such as Hibernate (on which Northerner released its second album '1976'). This record though is a much braver step into a sound that crosses genre's almost improbably, taking in all manner of influence from dub techno, funk, dub step, hip hop, distorted ambience and eerie electronica yet always retaining the original evocative guitar playing as its core.
At times recalling Vini Reilly if signed to Basic Channel or a Pennine-based Burial, each track has its own distinct feel, from the soulful samples on the Bibio-esque opener 'Hey Come On, It's Love' to the gorgeous late night melancholy of the Detroit house styled 'Health and Safety'. 'Duty Paid' hits the nail firmly on the head with a gorgeous Tape-like acoustic guitar melody gradually disintegrating, replaced by dubby delay and distorted church bells. If the albums remit is to place Martin Cummings heavily affected, delicate guitar into as many differing musical landscapes as possible then most of the time it works splendidly, particularly on the outrageously slinky night time atmospheres of 'Cala Macarelleta', the Durutti Column-with-beats title track or the bleak, beaten closer 'To Where?'.
An impressive, highly original album which importantly unfurls more of its charms on each play." Norman Records