Release Date: 2nd December 2013 (Loop Records)
“The grip of this oddly compelling music doesn't loosen for a moment” Mojo
Clocca is the third and final album from Fringe Magnetic, a 12-piece ensemble led by trumpet-player and composer Rory Simmons. Originally born out of a desire to fuse contemporary classical composition with the energy of cutting edge jazz, Fringe Magnetic’s genre-bending sonic landscape has been sculpted over the last 7 years by influences as diverse as Django Bates, Brian Eno, Scott Walker, Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. As The Guardian puts it, “nothing else sounds quite like them.”
Fringe Magnetic features an all-star cast - Simmons himself has worked with Jamie Cullum, Friendly Fires, Mount Kimbie, Bat For Lashes and The Guillemots amongst others, whilst the rest of the ensemble is a who’s who of Europe’s finest musicians. Joining Simmons are pianist Ivo Neame, bassist Jasper Hoiby, a wind section comprising flautist Tori Freestone, clarinettist Robin Fincker, and bass clarinet master James Allsopp, a string section of Kit Massey on violin and cellist Natalie Rozario, with vocal contributions from Elisabeth Nygaard, Emilia Martensson and renegade baritone Andrew Plummer, all rooted by the inventive percussion of Ben Reynolds.
On Clocca, Rory Simmons has taken the rich acoustic palette of Fringe Magnetic and sensitively blended in electronic elements. Woodwind, brass and strings are all set against an array of glacial bell samples, tape saturated horn loops and sweeps of detuned guitars, the 12 tracks littered with arching melodies and playful rhythmic cells. From the English pastoral charm of ‘Only A Poltroon’ and the hypnotically distorted aria ‘Cross The Border’, to the woozy avant-garde of ‘Scrutiny’, Clocca takes twists and turns through a murky, gothic landscape.
Many of the abstract themes explored throughout Clocca are derived from the influence of contemporary fiction on the songwriting process. ‘Stitched In And Back Under’ is inspired by a text from Katherin Dunn’s cult book ‘Geek Love’; ‘Dreams of Dylar pt 1 & 2’ refer to Dylar, the fictional drug alluded to in Don Dellilo’s classic ‘White Noise’, the music here reflecting the chaos and confusion this dark narcotic wreaks on a couple in middle America; ‘Garlic & Sapphires’ is a quote from ‘Four Quartets’ by TS Eliot; ‘Scrutiny’ is drawn from the writings of Douglas Coupland, in particular his book ‘Life After God’; and ‘Only a Poltroon’ is drawn from an article by David Mitchell called ‘Only a Poltroon despises pedantry’ which discussed grammar, vocabulary and the English dictionary.
A densely layered cinematic soundscape, Clocca can be unsettling one minute and eye-wateringly beautiful the next; an adventure in sound that shows Fringe Magnetic at the peak of their powers.
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