There’s been over year of relative silence from Mark Barrott. There have been a couple of releases on Running Back, and Edizioni Mondo. Plus those Tears For Fears remixes. But nothing on Mark`s own imprint, International Feel. Until now. Sketches From A Distant Ocean sees the full musical return of Mark and IFEEL.
The E.P. is no significant, shocking or surprising departure from the other entries in his Sketches series. But did anyone need or want it to be? The poignant picking of The Rowing Song reprises Dawn Over A Quiet Harbour (which holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts). Pits it against Pointillism piano, sampled Native Folk harmonies and a deconstructed breakbeat. Its production epic in an Eno & Lanois way. Xarracó is Techno. Metallic but Ambient. Like a beat-less take on Mark`s wonderful Cascades (from 2016). Circuits and crickets chirruping into the infinite. More “borrowed” vocals set to spirit-lifting strings. Imagine if My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts had been created by young dreamers as an escape from Belleville, Michigan. Instead of an experiment in ethno-forgery constructed by enthusiastic intellectuals in New York. Low Lying Fruit marries birdsong, gentle hand percussion, and woodwinds to a dance floor kick. Computers calculating counterpoint, while African kora carries the melody.
The standout for me though is Galileo. Where synth and slide guitar are backed by the snap, crackle and pop of 90s IDM drums, and the lead can’t decide if its Spanish or singing the blues. The whole sonic picture recalling the classic Cafe Del Mar moments from William Orbit`s Strange Cargo. There’s a pause, someone foxy laughs, then they’re off again. Roof down, cruising Via Caliente.
There’s no order link up yet, but I`m assured that the record`s due any minute now. For news check Mark`s Bandcamp page.