James Leyland Kirby’s Caretaker project holds a special place in the Slowblog universe, as Persistent Repetition of Phrases, the record that preceded his latest, An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, was the subject on one of my first posts here. The scope of this blog has changed dramatically since then, becoming more of a running list of clips published elsewhere, but what hasn’t changed at all is how big a fan I am of Kirby’s work. So, needless to say, the announcement today of a new Caretaker record is a welcome surprise.
I’m really hoping Forced Exposure will be distributing An Empty Bliss in the States. Otherwise, hello import duties. I’m sure the transparent blue vinyl will make the extra fees worth it, though.
A bit about the record, typically full of hyperbole (somehow I mean this in a nice way), from Boomkat:
“Seeping to the surface two years since his cherished and widely acclaimed ‘Persistent Repetition Of Phrases’ LP, ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond The World’ returns our doddering protagonist to the deserted ballroom, wandering its waxed floor and dilapidated grandeur in an attempt to capture an era which has long since disappeared but still haunts the atmosphere. In the meantime he’s accessed an alternate set of memory banks with his derivés into Leyland Kirby land, but back in The Caretaker role, James Leyland Kirby conjures a quieter, more introspective spirit, lost in his own mind amidst a low-lit labyrinth of ever-decaying and antediluvian shellac phrases. Sourced from his mysterious collection of 78s, these vague snippets of archaic sonics reflect the ability of Alzheimers patients to recall the songs of their past, and with them recollections of places, people, moods and sensations. The effect is subtly amplified by the chronic vinyl cut at Berlin’s D&M, allowing each memory to segue seamlessly and unpredictably into the next for an otherworldly and disorienting experience. Coupled with another deeply enigmatic artwork commission from Ivan Seal, ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond The World’, is a highly potent transmission from one of the most singular characters operating in music today.”