• vision fortune Country Music (CD, £12.50)

    label: ATP Recordings

    Country Music is the second album by prolific experimentalists Vision Fortune, and their first for ATP Recordings. Recorded during an intense two-month research residency, generously funded by the Cuatro Quesos Foundation, in the idyllic yet remote region of Tuscany, Italy, Country Music is both a significant development and audible departure from the sound of the band's debut Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune. Confined in an expansive country villa, the group soon found the breathtaking beauty of the area little compensation for the almost complete lack of wheat-and/or gluten-free products and a severely limited selection of DVDs. Only able to record in scant free hours, the group often had no choice but to forgo their simple daily routines of sampling local gastronomic delicacies and honing their horse-riding skills in order to complete the album. In spite of these obstacles, the ever-adventurous Vision Fortune have created their most sonically inventive work to date - sparse, yet incredibly detailed and precise - the percussion on 'Dry Mouth' was created solely from the sound of silverware chiming against fine china bowls of foie gras d'oie. 'Broken Teeth''s crooning vocals and amaretto-smooth bass lines, meanwhile, are juxtaposed with lyrical content concerning the difficulties of pursuing legal action against large commercial airlines, and the conflicting emotions that arise when presented with extreme financial comfort. Given the difficulties Vision Fortune faced in the creation of Country Music, it is perhaps unsurprising that the album is both challenging, and rewarding, in equal measure.

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