Alexander Tucker - Dorwytch
The urgent, layered cello that opens up Alexander Tucker’s new album Dorwytch almost takes you by surprise. His most recent Imbogodom project was a more ambient and stripped down beast, and featured hardly any of the man’s favourite stringed instrument. ‘His Arm Has Grown Long’ however, bursts through the speakers in a march of rolling percussion, swift bowing and the man’s recognisably soaring vocals.
Crafted over the past three years, Dorwytch is a bewitching collection at times. Combining the folk elements of his previous records with the experimental tendencies he has explored through collaboration with a myriad of performers including Stephen O’Malley and Daniel O’Sullivan (who makes an appearance here), Tucker has managed to distil this into tracks that enchant with their warm, textured sounds. ‘Red String’ sees layers of cello, acoustic guitar and fuzzy drones circle the harmonic vocals, helped ably by singer-songwriter Jess Bryant. His ability to make one man sound like many through the constant layering of different instruments is beautiful, with each one following a different melodic path through the song yet arriving in the same place.
People who have seen him play live recently will have probably noticed the glowing yeti suit which he likes to don, and it’s the same mystical creatures which inhabit tracks like ‘Matter’ with its wistful, twinkling and tales of ‘apparitions’. The entire album exudes a sense of fantasy, taking the listener on a wonderfully enveloping journey of organic sounds and dramatic melody, most brilliantly on through the frantic acoustic riffing and eerie strings of ‘Pearl Relics’ which also features the talents of improve drummer Paul May. Five albums in and Alexander Tucker has crafted what is without a doubt his finest album yet.