Ben­jamin Cle­men­tine

I Tell A Fly

Mojo (UK) - - News - Martin As­ton

BE­HIND/VIR­GIN EMI. CD/DL/LP Sec­ond, uniquely charged al­bum from the 2015 Mer­cury Prize win­ner.

Cle­men­tine takes no pris­on­ers. The lead track here, Phan­tom Of Alep­poville – six proggy jack-knif­ing minutes, in­cor­po­rat­ing mar­tial drum­beats, sud­den pauses and cho­ral whoops, con­structed around the man’s al­ter­nately tow­er­ing and peal­ing voice/pi­ano – is ex­hil­a­rat­ing and volatile, his own Para­noid An­droid. The ref­er­ence to be­lea­guered Syr­ian city Aleppo fits the LP’s con­cept: an oth­er­wise oblique com­men­tary on the alien/ mi­grant/refugee out­sider, from the point of view of two flies cir­cling over hu­man­ity. Jupiter (Michael Ki­wanuka by way of Gil­bert O’Sul­li­van) and the clas­si­cal-ro­man­tic pi­ano of Quintessence are eas­ier en­try points, but Cle­men­tine, like Nina Si­mone, ap­proaches song­writ­ing like Brechtian theatre. By The Ports Of Europe could be Si­mone, Brel or Harry Be­la­fonte, while a Ra­dio­head com­par­i­son ap­plies to Ode From Joyce’s ghostly ca­dences and One Awk­ward Fish’s strange cur­ren­cies, where soul lament, choir and drum’n’bass col­lide. Fol­low Cle­men­tine’s muse, and the pay-off is huge.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.