Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Snook's been to Iceland

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I ran a record label by the name of Cookshop - that's another tale in itself - and on that label I released an EP by an enigmatic chap residing in Bristol named Zoon van snooK. A few years on and here we have the second full length album from the man himself, sadly not released by me but thankfully picked up by the good folk at Lo Recordings who have had the sense (and probably the pennies to rub together) to give this great artist the wider exposure he so rightly deserves.

Shimmering drone, wheezing melodica and a slow piano motif soundtrack our embarkment onto the mythical 'bridge between life and death'. As the record unfurls, in wonderfully unhurried fashion, we are treated to concise instrumental pieces, highly melodic in nature, that combine traditional instruments of all shapes and sizes - plucked, hammered, bowed and blown - with subtle electronic flourishes, found sounds and carefully sculpted beats.

Much of the record was inspired by and indeed recorded in Iceland; having been fortunate enough to once visit this magical place, I can say this record perfectly captures the mysterious beauty of the landscape and the effervescent eccentricity of its inhabitants; indeed a fair few locals lend Snook a hand here, including members of Amiina, Benni Hemm Hemm and Sin Fang.

Immediate (lazy) comparisons could be drawn to the likes of Mum, Four Tet, Psapp and Tunng, however Zoon van snooK has clearly been influenced moreover by a specific place, its dwellers, and their traditions and musics of old.

Zoon van snooK's 'The Bridge Between Life & Death' is released by Lo Recordings on 10th June.

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