"I Could Not Love You More" cover

Album released 2009 on Type (vinyl, CD, digital: 2009) / Blink in the Endless (Bandcamp only: 2016)



Following on from acclaimed releases for Type, Foxglove and Important Records, London outfit Rameses III return with their most accomplished, approachable and involving material yet. From the spectral shimmer of those Robin Guthrie-style guitars on 'We Shall Never Sing Of Sorrow' the band begin to chart a serene and introverted brand of pastoral drone-folk. It's harmonious and languid but bolstered with enough grit and substance to give these ambient drifts a real sense of purpose. Like a British answer to Mountains' expansive soundscaping, the assembled cast of Daniel Freeman, Spencer Grady and Stephen Lewis combine sultry, elongated tones with documents of environments from the natural world, all the while instilling a sense of tangible instrumental presence. 'Cloud Kings', for example, sounds every bit as nebulous and majestic as its title intimates, conjoining flurried melodic loops with swathes of lapsteel and watery field recordings while weightless sustains fill the remaining space. There are shades of James Blackshaw cast over 'No Water, No Moon' setting fingerpicked passages of guitar and what sounds like a 4AD-ified ukulele in a broader, more cinematic context. Although there are certainly elements of the record that hint towards ambient music's more abstract properties, this never sounds like a directionless gush of sound, and instead, the pieces here tend to have a strange, time-lapsed feel to them, as if the swelling chord shifts of 'All Shall Be Well' and the filtered cascades of 'The Kindness In Letting Go' are a blurred treatment of something altogether more song-shaped and closer to the source of the folksy, rustic sounds this album impressionistically evokes. Fans of the aforementioned Mountains, Tape or even Helios should investigate without delay - Highly Recommended.

Thursday 10 September 2009

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