Published on 30th January 2017
The Martin-Gruber Anastomosis – wonky JESUS
This album is my wife’s favourite album of the year so far. Not that she has ever heard a single note of it’s lovely subtle, tonal, mood-fest.
It’s my current album of choice to do housework while listening on headphones… and I keep on dusting until the last note fades, which from my wife’s point of view is a vast improvement on my traditional standing in the middle of the room and waving the dust cloth in the general direction of the furniture for 20 seconds.
And the general direction of this music that I’m so enjoying? Well, it definitely nods towards my mid-’70s loves, with tones and tunes reminiscent of Hatfield and the North, National Health, Robert Fripp and I can also hear some David Sylvian in its willingness to wallow within languid tones, which is not to say it doesn’t fly with beats at times, but the beats are only there to propel the tunes, not to overpower them.
The Martin-Gruber Anastomosis is a nom-de-pluck of Stephen Scott who has been ploughing his particular field of music in the U.K.’s rural East Anglia for a few years now, occasionally as a jobbing band member or as a live looping phenomenon of some note. But it is his solo work that offers the most attraction to those with a prog inclination.
For this album he has enlisted a small group of supporting musicians to complement his own extensive and impressive list of instruments played; of particular note is Fran Broady whose violin leaps from lyricism to semi-atonal squeaks when required, I can imagine the smiles as she managed to squeeze an almost Irish folk lilt in as a part of a riff within a 7/8 tempo’d tune. Geoff Charlton augments with drums on a couple of tracks and Dan J. Pitt provides melodic bass lines plus his voice and lyrics on the title track which is the only ‘song’ of the album. His vocals reminded me of the way Robert Fripp would often choose a traditional ‘rawk’ vocalist to counterpoint the music within King Crimson.
I have the feeling that if Stephen Scott and I had grown up in the same town in the mid-’70s, we would have seen ourselves as kindred spirits as we passed on our ways to school noticing the Hatfield and the North, Matching Mole and the unfashionable King Crimson LPs under our arms, nodding at each other as members of the same club.
You don’t have to do the housework listening to this very enjoyable album but your wife or partner may thank you.
01. Flow of Change (6:36)
02. aka158 (4:22)
03. Doubt Belt (4:58)
04. Old Machine (6:46)
05. Skylarks (7:38)
06. Five Go Spooky Dave (5:19)
07. Trinklet 2 (3:39)
08. wonky JESUS (3:33)
09. Toes and Claws (5:49)
10. Slug Sale (5:26)
Total Time – 54:06
Stephen J. Scott – Electronic & Programmed Percussion, Synthesizers, Keyboards, Smooth Piano, Bass Guitar, Guitars (Electric, Acoustic, Fretless Electric, Duesenberg Multibender equipped Electric Slide with and without Ebow), Violin (track 5 only)
Fran Broady – Violin (tracks 1,4,6 & 10)
Dan J. Pitt – Bass Guitar (track 2), Vocals & Lyrics (track 8)
Geoff Charlton – Drums (tracks 2 & 9)
Andy Butler – Turkish Clarinet, Cornet (track 2)
Bud – Percussion (track 3)
Vidyamala – Vocals & Words (track 1)
Record Label: n/a
Availability: Download or Stream from Bandcamp (Available free but please support independent music makers)
Date of Release: 22nd November 2016
Stephen Scott – Bandcamp