Sunday, October 11, 2015

Watch Repair - Sea Shanty Town Ship

The work of Watch Repair involves music as delicate and intricate as their name suggests. Their compositions involve subtle, almost diffident, movements which seek (and reward) attentive listening. The opening track, 'Far Asleep', of their new recording Sea Shanty Town Ship involves glowing clock chimes, mechanical abrasions and shimmering bell peals. The overall effect suggests an Edwardian music box made by an eccentric recluse, or the revolving of an orrery in some lost observatory. It is wistful and haunting.

The second, title track is more austere, with brittle and slithering guitar notes proceeding slowly as if the player or even the instrument itself were on a restless quest for the precise expression of fragile truths. There are rising, yearning surges of other sounds shifting in and out of the restrained guitar explorations, like the wind in our hair or rain at the window, and at intervals we hear unearthly echoes.

It is an exquisite, gentle, timeless piece, the aural equivalent of the enigmatic stories of Walter de la Mare. The listener emerges with the feeling that they have brushed against the experience of another, elusive way of knowing.

This is the fourth Watch Repair release, available from Manchester outlet Boomkat: the three previous titles are Stopped Clock Chimes, Watch Repair (self-titled) and The Tidal Path. These (and Sea Shanty Town Ship too) are available on Watch Repair's Bandcamp page.

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