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Review of Eclectic EP by Erin at Eleven — August 30, 2019

Review of Eclectic EP by Erin at Eleven

This is a beautiful EP, there’s a sadness to the songs but also an inner strength, defiance, that gives a positive, hopeful outlook.

The arrangements are excellent with a great range of layered sounds and instruments. The vocals really stand out, they’re stunning. Full of emotion, they’re captivating with an edge of sadness. 

Only Myself to Blame

Superb vibe to the opening, it’s kind of twinkly to start with a contrasting distorted bass and drum pattern that gives an edgy, upfront sound. There’s a sadness to the vocals but also a resolute inner strength.

One Thing

Strummed acoustic to open, drumming and distorted lead create a tension leading to an edgy sound to the song with swirling synth sounds and layered effects. Superb vocals again, passion with defiance. 

All Roads Lead Back

An acoustic, almost country vibe from acoustic guitars propelled by solid drumming and bass. The vocals are superb, captivating with lovely harmonies. A reflective song with great warmth and humour. 

Over You

A simply beautiful song, soulful and jazzy. A superb stripped back arrangement of piano, organ and vocals. 

Keep up with Erin at Eleven:

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Review of ‘lutra’ album by smallhaus on Linear Obsessional — August 17, 2019

Review of ‘lutra’ album by smallhaus on Linear Obsessional

This is an excellent album, it has a great ambience with soundscape / cinematic qualities. The sound is big and expansive, often with subtle movement and an edge of tension. 

a wave from the water

Evolving drone to open, there’s an ominous feel to the start of the song. A  big expansive sound with subtle movement, the melody adds an ethereal feel. 

part scientist

An atmospheric opening, percussion adds an urgency. A big expansive sound again, the riff  compliments the subtle melody really well. An excellent build and release. 

to the birds, to the light

Evolving opening, there’s a sparser feel, a suspense. Shimmery guitar builds the sound really well. A slowly evolving soundscape with a brilliant floaty quality. 

lutra

A glitchy, reversed noise type sound to open, it’s a sparse feel with evolving riff and sparkly background sounds. It’s got reflective qualities.

 
the first time we saw all the stars in the sky

Evolving pad sound to open, there’s subtle movement in the sound with a slow evolution. It’s a great soundscape. 

marsh wind

Vocal string type sound to open against a gentle swell, like waves breaking on a beach and birds in the background, the glitchy percussive sounds adds an excellent contrasting element. 

providence

Evolving pad to open with an emerging melody, there’s a great building tension to the ambience which evolves into more of a noise / drone feel. 

back to the river

An evolving opening with strings and a distortion / feedback type of sound, there’s subtle movement in the sound with a build and release. 

Review of The Return of the Incredible Exploding Man by Dave Hutchinson published by Solaris / Rebellion Publishing — August 13, 2019

Review of The Return of the Incredible Exploding Man by Dave Hutchinson published by Solaris / Rebellion Publishing

An ARC copy was provided by Netgalley and Rebellion Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  I’ve written the review as spoiler free as possible.

I absolutely loved reading this book and found it captivating, but not in the way I was expecting. 

The story centers around an out of work science journalist, Alex Dolan, who gets offered an opportunity from one of the world’s richest men, Stanislaw Clayton, to write a book about the Sioux Crossing privately funded supercollider coming on line. It’s one of those opportunities you can’t really say no to. 

He moves from Boston to Sioux Crossing and the story follows his progress in the new community and the writing of his book.

 
In many ways, neither his book nor the supercollider are the focus of the story. For me it’s more about how Alex develops relationships and finds living in a small town where everybody knows your business. It’s an intriguing situation, normally in a small town everybody knows everything about everybody else but this feels different, people seem to know a bit too much for it to be just gossip, appear at exactly the right time and strangely this seems to be accepted as part of everyday life.  

The writing is excellent, there are some really perceptive observations and a range of cynical, mysterious and flamboyant characters that develop through the story so you gradually learn more about them, there’s an excellent human element to characters and their interactions. 

I say the supercollider isn’t the focus of the story, that’s because the first 80% or so of the story focuses on the town and exploring the facility. The last 20% does involve the facility, some extreme quantum weirdness and subtle links back to events earlier in the story. 

The ending does feel a bit sudden after the build up though, that said, thankfully the author resists the temptation to drag the story out or develop too complex or farcical plot lines so overall it still works really well, even though I’d have liked it to have lasted a bit longer.