Sherwood Pines showcases the 4 and 6-string skills of bassist, John Thompson and guitarist, Henry Scott. Recording together as Brown Fang, they’ve licensed this long-player to Phil Cooper`s NuNorthern Soul – the imprint, by the way, is currently celebrating its 10th birthday. John recently turned up as a member of psychedelic stadium rockers, The Attraktors – remixed for the dance floor by Ron Basejam, on Brighton`s Higher Love. This, however, is a much more chilled affair.
These are peaceful, pretty, melodic arrangements for the duo’s respective instruments, augmented by subtle electronics. Henry`s slow-hand picking is set against dissolves of sustain and drone. Sampled bucolic birdsong is broken by controlled modular explosions. Synthetic orchestration swoons amidst showers of trippy gated sequences, blinking blips and bleeps, and a bionic bass rumble. The carefully crafted electric counterpoint that they create is largely devoid of drums, but in places driven by the odd heartbeat-like thump. Overall, musically, it`s like a magical meeting between the patient late `90s post-rock of David Pajo and plugged in, turned on, `70s kosmische.
My personal favorite is the closing composition, where the pair pull out all the cosmic stops. The graceful guitar sounding in sitar-like strains, while machined pulses produce a sort of beatless motorik. It`s proper pastoral stuff, full of the promise of sunshine, and perfect for spring. Perhaps this is what its title, Goodbye Donkey Jacket, pertains to.
Recorded in collaboration with Colwick`s Constellations Workshop Brown Fang’s Sherwood Pines is available directly from NuNorthern Soul.