Regular readers will remember we were very impressed with the 12″ by Robert Logan, Accurate Spit Boy and were very keen to get hold of the album; and here it is as it is out today!
The album contains a longer version of Accurate Spit Boy and the other track that was on the EP, ‘Cut By Concrete’ seems more at home, so to speak, within the context of the album as most of the 12 tracks on the album are infused with “dark and brooding soundscapes”.
Created with a mix of acoustic and electronic sources (including field recordings) the inspiration for Inscape was an abandoned factory in Hungary that was being ‘captured’ by the engulfing forest.
The slow nature of this one sided battle if perfectly caught by Logan in a subterranean basement mood where there’s hardly any light. Perhaps just a few shards of sunlight are provided by Francis Logan’s violin towards the end on ‘The Warmth’ and the aching climax of the title track, ‘Inscape’.
I can’t imagine what the response was to Logan opening for Grace Jones at Massive Attack’s Meltdown last year. Logan’s doesn’t do anything like ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’, but then Jones has a dark side herself right up to the recent ‘Williams’ Blood’ so it was an inspired choice to have Logan warm-up (or should that be scare-up) the crowd.
Apparently Logan has an ongoing collaboration with Brian Eno but again, don’t go expecting anything like Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (Eno’s renewed partnership with David Byrne). I think it could sound more like My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts reworked in a souk with dead zombies (like the closing track ‘Jehova Rapha’) or Two Fingers on a rainy day without any rappers.
That said, the album starts off quite brightly with ‘Angels And Insects’ that features Marcel Pusey on bass; a la Bill Laswell on a warped Planet Mu-dubstep’n’ bass tip (Laswell himself being abstract, avant-garde and ambient nowadays).
‘Microcosmos’ is a delicate interlude and sets the mood for the mid-suite track ‘Balaton’; is it going too far to say it’s like an electronic Sessions? Perhaps, but Logan is dealing in a different type of experimental/blues/free jazz, ‘Chivaly’ for instance is as scary as ‘Cut By Concrete’.
There’s some Bass Clef influences here but the closest thing to a groove is, appropriately the track called ‘Ultragroove’ that’s machine gunesque d’n’b and the single, ‘Acurate Spit Boy’. Of course, this isn’t you’re Mistabishi/Byrd d’n’b but ‘Throb’ gets closest.
Logan’s first album Cognessence was described as “the essential last word in electronic soundscapes” but I would say that Inscape is the essential first word in electronic soundscapes as he’s ripped up the rule book with this one and started again.
Reviewed: Robert Logan – Inscape (Slowfoot) Cat. No: SLO CD010 Release date: 6th April 2009 Notes: Artwork by JJ Wood with ink drawings by Lianne Victoria Chan – Field recordings by R. Logan made on location in Hungary.
1 Angels And Insects (6:35) feat. Marcel Pusey (bass)
2 Stalactite (6:25)
3 Acurate Spit Boy (5:17)
4 Ultraflux (6:19)
5 Microcosmos (1:47)
6 Balaton (6:16) feat. Andrea Black (vocals)
7 Throb (6:10)
8 Chivalry (5:24) feat. Andrea Black (vocals)
9 Cut By Concrete (7:19)
10 The Warmth (3:02) feat. Francis Logan (violin)
11 Inscape (7:18) feat. Francis Logan (violin)
12 Jehova Rapha (7:06)
Thanks to Francis & Irene Logan, Lianne Chan, Frank Byng, Jeremy Wood, Andrea Black and also to Marcel Pusey, Chiki Reeves and Part Tunbridge. Special thanks to Mary-Anne Hobbs, Steve Roach and Grace Jones.
The Wire 320 – April 2009 www.thewire.co.uk
93 Feet East -150 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL Tel:020 7247 3293 www.93feeteast.co.uk
Mary Ann Hobbs :: Wednesday 16th January 2008 :: ROBERT LOGAN MIX
Robert Logan – Angels and Insects
Robert Logan – Grinder
Robert Logan – Sanza
Robert Logan – Trip
Robert Logan – Sanza Live
Robert Logan – Throb