• ignatz I Hate This City (LP, £17.25)

    label: Conspiracy

    Belgium's Bram Devens finds a perfect way to use lo-fi recording and purposeful imperfections in order to sound direct. An album with the mysterious quality that serves it so well, and while Devens' songwriting isn't that of a mediocre modern-day bluesman, it's the sum of its parts that makes this noteworthy. This album's a curious document, music that touches the past and the present, but doesn't move between the two in the expected arc. Instead, Devens stops to pick things up along the way, and purposefully drags the whole mess through the mud on more than one occasion. With many artists, such an aesthetic might feel put on, but in Ignatz's case it seems an appropriate addition to his Belgian blues. "Space folk drone, a blend of buzzing lo-fi murk, and Folkways style folk guitar. Fahey meets Uton, or James Blackshaw recording with Starving Weirdos, a stumbling buzz infused sprawl as spacious as it is clattery and chaotic. Beneath the drone and ambience there is always a blues element to Ignatz" - Aquarius


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