Friday, October 7, 2011


With its Julian House graphic design and suggestions of an earlier rural England,  the latest release by Jon Brooks' Advisory Circle fits comfortably into the Ghost Box label's approach to sound and vision.  At first listen I heard what appeared to be an overly conservative electronica gently warped by nostalgia and analogue warmth.  Not bad,  but hardly compelling.  With each subsequent listen a kind of queasy wistfulness emerged,  the melodies bloomed,  and I quickly sought refuge in the inviting landscapes.  It's certainly a more eloquent take on Hypnogagic Pop,  even without the benefit of much lyrical content apart from  endpiece "Lonely Signalman",  a vocodered cautionary tale.  Most of the the lyrical content here takes the form of brief spoken word samples that add gravitas to the already mysterious proceedings.  What makes this Advisory Circle recording so different from earlier releases is the addition of acoustic instrumentation like clarinet and acoustic guitar,  but Jon Brooks' intention remain the same,  and that is to give voice to nature's cycles and the traditions the brought meaning to his ancestors' lives.  And also to remind us of our  now tenuous grip on that meaning.  A delight.

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