Review: Grumbling Fur – Glynnaestra
Published on July 31st, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Thrill Jockey can’t stop coming up with the goods; they’ve been putting out all sorts of fascinating albums this year, and Grumbling Fur’s third LP Glynnaestra might just be the best yet.
‘Experimental’ is a word that gets bandied about all too liberally but we’ve no qualms in rolling it our for this London duo, namely Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker. They seem willing to try almost anything, safe perhaps in the knowledge that they invariably – nay, always – come out smelling of roses.
Opener “Ascatudaea”, for instance, is like an electronic digeridoo incantation. Our limited frame of reference leads us to draw comparison with Primal Scream’s “A Deep Hit of Morning Sun”, but funnily enough it’s much more, er, ‘primal’ than that.
“Protogenesis” boasts a deliciously cross-sensory rhythm section, one that peels and crinkles in glorious tandem with the juddering synth bass. Like Glynnaestra as a whole, it’s positively dripping with lysergic goodness.
In addition to its fabulous title, “The Ballad of Roy Batty” wields a brilliantly effective hand-clapping motif and proceeds to slip a gently caressing hum of electronic sunrise underneath a hymnal group vocal, paving the way for “Alapana Blaze” to represent Grumbling Fur’s organic side with a chuffing percussive workshop.
“Galacticon” starts off like a ‘darkside’ relative of Boards of Canada’s “Roygbiv” then welcomes aboard slices of wailing violin and smatterings of mad chatter that make it feel like a ‘darkside’ relative of The Beta Band’s “The House Song”.
The ‘darkside’ relatives only stick around for “Galacticon” (and maybe a cup of tea) before piling into their ‘darkside’ camper van and disappearing off into the psychedelic sunset. However, their brief role is significant.
We want to say more about “Galacticon”: it’s like some ticking, croaking, chirruping garden of strange elements that come together quite hypnotically, its otherworldly groove descended upon by whirring sci-fi strings and…okay, we’ll stop now.
“Dancing Light” could well describe its own melody and harmonies; here Glynnaestra enters into a gorgeous sunrise of psychedelia, which naturally follows the aforementioned psychedelic sunset. Grumbling Fur may inhabit a parallel universe but they know how to arrange it so that us guests feel at home.
“Clear Path” is stunning, a divinely fingerpicked psych-folk number enshrouded in an atmospheric, monotone hum. Wasn’t it only a little earlier we were talking about juddering synth bass and the like?
Suffice it to say, Glynnaestra is as masterful a convergence of electronic and organic as you’re likely to hear all year. Thrill Jockey, you’ve done it again.
Glynnaestra is out now on Thrill Jockey.
Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!