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Where The Light Comes In – Ben Noble (reviewed by Marcus Kittridge)

This recording starts with a beautifully spacious sonic landscape that took me back to the time when Kate Bush experimented with the latest in Fairlight synthesizer technologies. Towards the end of the first track, big crescendos build from nothing to a dazzling ball of musical complexity.

‘Bluebird’ is driven along by a lo-fi 8 bit drum track. The vocals are light, yet they cut through an increasingly large and sometimes difficult soundstage. I imagine Ben skipping through fields of wheat but not in a Theresa May kind of way as he delivers a very natural vocal delivery.

At times the album is punctuated with a real mix of styles sometimes fusing together intriguingly on a single track to form new aural shapes and textures. Unlike some totally unnecessary modern fusion cuisine, Ben manages to find ways for electronica, folk and ambient to blend seamlessly like old friends who meet up after years apart without any awkwardness. He clearly collaborates with a proficient cohort of musical kindred spirits that he knows well and trusts implicitly.

‘Turning’ introduces itself with a tribal beat and moves gently forward through canopies of Radioheadlike trance movements. It convinces you to follow a pathway that beguiles you with layers of sheer exotica before tearing itself apart to finally reveal a restful clearing.

‘Blind’ is a beautiful song laid lightly over a pizzicato guitar line that dissolves into electronic phrases that linger and play games with an offbeat drum track. It feels like what it must be like when you are blind and try to navigate through the shifting sounds and environments that are integral to city life.

I love the way that the listeners attention is constantly being disrupted by various degrees of trauma. This might annoy some but it kept me dialled in all the way through

Oh! And if you like Gwenno or Jane Weaver you will love this guys work too.

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