Friday, June 6, 2008
sweet as honey...
while some readers might be starting to get the impression that ostgut is about the only label we listen to, believe it or not, this is only partly true. another label of recent vintage which we've quickly fallen in love with is smallville records. much like ostgut, the immediate thing which stands out about smallville is the quality of the releases. you can feel, see and hear the warmth, care and attention to detail that has been put into each record. another important part is the beautiful packaging, with the distinctive, playful artwork of stefan marx always catching the eye. the picture above is from the cover of smallville's latest release: 'songs from the beehive' by move d and benjamin brunn.
in a recent post i mentioned how much i was enjoying 'honey', the lead-in ep to the full length lp, which has just been released. having now heard the whole album, much to my delight i can say that 'honey' is only a sample of the delights that can be found in 'the beehive'. i need to think more about it, but this is probably my favourite album of the year so far. it has been on repeat since receiving a copy. it has an incredibly warm and inviting vibe throughout which has completely won me over.
i should say that i've been a long standing sceptic of artist albums in this genre. they work so incredibly rarely. the most common problem is that while there might be good individual tracks, the whole fails to cohere. this is a pitfall move d and brunn avoid, and i think it is the key to why it is so good. the album sounds like it has emerged from a series of jam sessions between the two - all the tracks have a very organic, natural feel to them and match well. some have more groove, others are more ambient and introspective, but all come from the same sound palette. actually, i am getting my analogies confused here. they all emerge from the same beehive. there, that works better.
and something to sweeten your tastebuds: a livepa from half of this duo, benjamin brunn. it is not quite the same sound as what you can find on his album with move d, but there are some similarities and overlap, especially with the last two or three tracks from 'the beehive', which happen to be my favourites. regardless, it is a lovely set and definitely worth checking:
benjamin brunn @ westwerk, may 2008.
my suggestion is simple: go and get yourself some honey. it tastes so sweet...
*EDIT* pete has written a really fantastic review of the album over at RA.