Michael Donnelly | Why So Mute, Fond Lover?
Front & Follow (CD/CS/DL)
The opening passage sort of lurks restlessly. This is the new release from Michael Donnelly on Manchester’s innovative Front & Follow. Within Motions Are Man there are seemingly sections to this five minute track that follow only Donnelly’s unscripted rules. The listener will appreciate this ‘between-things’ sound as it meanders and shifts like a Caribbean lizard. It’s a curious hybrid between industrial and underground electronic worlds. Oh, I should mention that the tape and disc are limited to one hundred copies, and when you buy this release it comes with a bonus download (a full album) called Pardon Error.
Why So Mute, Fond Lover? is for stargazers everywhere. The post-post prog rock end of this is a sublime mirage of sonic tones. Donnelly uses common household gadgets alongside an abstract noise collage that startles and desensitizes, but crafted in such a way that the floor beneath you suddenly gives way to a whole new sense of flotation.
Cupids Vagaries is a prime example of how the sound sculptor can meander with ease from a spacey limbo into a tweeky tribal beat. It’s simplistic use of guitar over toms delineates a passageway from one enigmatic atmosphere to another. But it never feels intermittent, more like a natural segmentation between short tracks. The beat goes on via The Scourge Is On Us and the listener is held in a place where time seems not of the essence, but of mythology – we are ejected into a deeper, more cosmic state of mind. And after several minutes the sense of repetition fades into an exasperated flutter, like a dying engine.
Finally on Thick Skull we are treated to a concave, harmonic buzz escorted by a fluctuating, asymmetrical beat. As this convulses I cannot help think there is a subliminal message under the absonant blubber. The mechanism at its core seems to have a rise/fall effect which gives the conclusion much character.