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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alexander Tucker Third Mouth


Alexander Tucker
Third Mouth 
Thrill Jockey


It’s six albums in for this below-the-radar UK-based experimentalist, and as his recordings become increasingly sonically sophisticated, the similarities to Brian Eno’s mellifluous singing voice seem to grow. At times it’s easy to imagine this as a lost reel dating from somewhere between Taking Tiger Mountain and Another Green World, but rest assured,Tucker is no mere wannabeeno. 

Percolated with intimate and ingenious soundworlds containing looped rainfall, tangling windchimes, primitive berimbau-like drones, glitchy percussives and hallucinatory folds of multi-tracked hair-raising harmonising, these tunes are invention-rich environments. Incidents from childhood, relationships and other intimacies might provide the starting point for many of the six songs here but don’t expect the usual singer-songwriter confessional. 

Rising through waves of bustling acoustic guitar and undulating syth tones, his words trawl deep into the subconscious, pulling the listener on an undertow of surreally associative games that revel in their poetic obliqueness and abstracted imagery. Yet despite such wilful obscurity, Tucker isn’t able to keep a good melody down. Even the most terse and cryptic of pieces on the album has a habit of getting inside your head in the time-honoured tradition of all good earworms. Exquisite.*





*This review first appeared in Prog.

 

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