Blueneck - Repetitions
Blueneck are perhaps one of England’s best kept secrets when it comes to post-rock. Since 2006 the band have released two albums of truly haunting and heart-breaking music, the band concentrating more on texture and mood rather than sticking to the trademark quiet-loud dynamic. While there still are traces of that element in their music, the eighteen months it took to create new album Repetitions have resulted in a record that wastes no time in enveloping the listener in a sparse, delicate and incredibly sad atmosphere.
Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree once said that sad music to him was also the most beautiful, and that could not be truer with regard to Repetitions. The opening piano strains of ‘Pneumothorax’ are a perfect initiation into Blueneck’s melancholy world and Duncan Attwood’s unnervingly fragile voice. His almost whispered tones are a focal point throughout the album, taking centre stage with the darkened ivory work on the ghostly ‘Una Salus Victus’ and urging us away on the dramatic closing track ‘Lopussa’ alongside just a hint of cello and guitar.
Their debut album Scars of the Midwest contained far more in the way of electronic manipulation, something which producer Mat Sampson has tried to steer the band clear of on Repetitions. ‘Sawbones’ features some lush and smooth sounding organs and analogue synthesizers to create a real encompassing ambiance for the vocals to lay upon and simple percussion to lurk just underneath. The spectral strings on ‘Sleeping Through A Storm’ fade in and out of earshot while lightless guitar lines meander through the black. Hopefully people will be able to see though the darkness, and notice the grace and beauty within.