Friday, 12 May 2017

Review - Man Forever – Play What They Want

Man Forever – Play What They Want (Thrill Jockey Records)

LP / CD / DL

Out Now

7.5 / 10

John Colpitts aka Kid Millions aka Ma Forever is no ordinary percussionist.  Varied drum patterns and arrangements provide incredible interest and plenty to absorb as new album Play What They Want clearly demonstrates.

With the addition of several artists on the album including harpist Marry Lattimore, Yo La Tengo, Ben Lanz (Sufjan Stevens) and Phil Manley (Trans AM), the proverbial goalposts are somewhat moved to make the hypnotic drum patterns true works of delight.

Opener, You Were Never Here is case in point as its continual drum loop has slowly introduced voices, synth effect and offbeat piano eventually reaching a quite dramatic pinnacle.  Ten Thosuand Things meanwhile sees a far more melodic affair with voices taking centre stage and a hook that is difficult to shake off even after few listens.

The twenty-five year career of Colpitts has taken in appearances with the likes of Oneida, White Hills and Spiritualized and has clearly given a boost to each project making him one of New York most acclaimed percussionists.  The frenetic beginning to Debt And Greed never seems to let up and once more has a genuinely addictive vocal and brass section, and at little over three minutes (the shortest track on the album) bursts with light and effervescence throughout.

With Twin Torches comes the undoubted highlight of the album.  Laurie Anderson steps up to the mark and exudes her clear genius in a track that never ceases to impress.  A complex rhythmic backdrop compliments her spoken voice perfectly together with off-key voices randomly inserted at seemingly perfect opportunity.  It’s a journey rather than a piece of music and is nothing short of brilliant.

On an album that defies genre classification the word ‘alternative’ truly comes to mind, album closer Catenary Smile is maybe as ambient as a percussionist can get.  Drums are distant but continual and a wall of gentle sounds pervades to turbulent end.

Listen to Twin Torches on the Thrill Jockey website HERE.

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