Review of 1897 [12k1053]

The Wire (UK)

Dominated in large part by the floral guitar picking of Seaworthy’s Cameron Webb, 1897 is very much in the 12k tradition, from the gentle, sweet, drowsy drones of “Ammunition 1” to the use of a natural location – in this case the Newington Armory precinct at Sydney Olympic Park, which discreetly functions as a sort of musical instrument in its own right. On the brief interpolations “Inside” and “Inside 2” there is a suggestive echoing pingpong of acoustics which root the record in environmental reality. “Ammunition 2” and “Ammunition 4” are organic digressions in but separated from the realms of natural sound only by a little tweaking and melodic sugardusting. On “Ammunition 5” the guitars are gently strafed and merge again with the trademark throb of 12k synth. This is never startling – that’s not the point with 12k releases. It does, however, manage to evoke a combined state of tranquility and intense concentration. – David Stubbs.

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