Scottish music fans will be well aware of Joseph Quimby’s back-catalogue, most likely from his days fronting Glasgow’s Take A Worm For A Walk Week.
Yet this new cassette release on Manchester’s Tombed Visions leans much closer to his previous solo releases on the same label, under the moniker Hivver, and his work with the now-departed Remember Remember.
Opener ‘Versus’ awakens awash with warm synths, steadily folding over itself with more and more heavily processed instruments.
Second track ‘Hearing’’s opening two-note piano pedal is similarly gradually obscured by processed strings and digital haze, before fading out to a simple melody and mournful strings.
Throughout the record it’s difficult to distinguish individual instruments: synths, guitars, and acoustic sound sources are blurred and smeared with reverb, creating a meditative ambience somehow not quite of this world.
‘Judgement’ and closing track ‘Proof’’ have definite shades of Ludovico Einaudi’s affecting soundtracks for Shane Meadows, giving the whole album an almost cinematic feel; a lingering influence from Quimby’s time collaborating with dancer Iona Kewney, perhaps.
This is a truly beautiful album, whose five tracks never lingers too long over the 30 minute run time.
As Tombed Vision’s own David McLean notes, it’s a difficult task to sum up exactly how or why this record works.
But it’s a huge achievement, miles away from the navel-gazing stereotypes of weaker genre examples.
A great record for cold mornings; highly recommended.
Words: David Scott