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REVIEWS / PROMO`D / ALMUNIA & PAQUA / CLAREMONT 56

Reviews, Test Pressing, Promo`d, Dr Rob, Claremont 56, Paul Murphy, Paqua, Almunia, Pulsar, Late Train

Twelve string resonance. Steel bleed. Microtonal delay builds the band, while the percussionist gets lit.

John Martyn`s “One World”, a midnight tide and palms bullied by the wind. Michael Mann`s beach house. Crockett`s boat. Counterpoint resignation. Pink Floyd crazy diamonds shine on. Mom, Mama, the Townhouse sound of Phil`s “In The Air”. A crossroads harp ghosts a train, echoes down that track, 900 miles from home.

If “Wrapped In Your Hair” provides the calm, then “Views From A Blue Train” and “Secret Marriage” are the peaks. “Dawn Over A Quiet Harbour” chimes. Fleetwood Mac`s “Dreams”, Lindsay Buckingham`s trouble and heartache. A fading Frankie Goes To Hollywood synth swell. While the production differs Alumina have a lot in common with Max Essa`s more introspective moments, both plotting a course along a solitary coast, sometimes high, sometimes lost in thought. When “Pulsar” rocks out it`s Glen Frey, Joe Walsh, Ram Jam`s “Black Betty”, while “Follow What You Are” brings it all back home, sat round The Stones` “You Can`t Always Get What You Want” campfire.

“Eminence Front” keys and “Superstition” funky Clavs. The Idjut boys remixing Giorgio Moroder covering Led Zep`s “Whole Lotta Love”. The amazing guitar work throughout the album recalls that of the session players whose two minutes of freedom would make those dodgy `80s Italian covers of Pop hits out shine the originals. Italians do it better. Those records, and “Puslar” alike, made essential by their flashes of passion and genius.

Reviews, Test Pressing, Promo`d, Dr Rob, Claremont 56, Paul Murphy, Paqua, Almunia, Pulsar, Late Train

There`s some classic Acid Jazz / Talkin` Loud vibes going on with Paqua. “Late Train” might be The Doobies` “Long Train” reimagined by a hirsute and unshaven Mother Earth straight from covering Santana. The last six minutes of the ten minute track devoted to a simple but insistent bass groove punctuated by fragmented electric riffs and top of the neck fretwork. Galliano doing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young`s “Long Time Gone”.

“We Are What We Are” is acoustic led summer in green and full bloom. Blue-eyed Free Soul. West Coast harmony. Too swinging for the Batteau brothers this time. More Gettysbyrg Address or Soft Soul Transition with pianos swapped for power chords. A good one for singing along to whilst dancing barefoot, uncut blades between your toes, or sat, watching and pondering nothing in particular, sunning your socks.

You can buy both records direct from Claremont 56 (and pre-order THAT box set) here.

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