Kitchen Cynics - Beads Upon An Abacus
Kings of the curveball, The Trilogy Tapes deliver the psyche folk sidespin of Aberdeen’s Kitchen Cynics with a gorgeous side of deep bothy music for fans of Sun City Girls, Richard Youngs, Jim O’Rourke, Sockethead, Timo Van Lujik & Andrew Chalk, Lucky Pierre.
Compiled by Jack Murphy, ’Beads Upon An Abacus’ appears to be the umpteenth album from Kitchen Cynics mainstay Alan Davidson since 1988, and offers a memorable introduction, where needed, to his microcosm of fuzzy and lysergic songcraft of a rare and enchantingly woolly calibre. The 11 songs were typically recorded in Davidson’s flat on cassette or digital 4-track recorders, with a few done in his “much-lamented studio above a morgue in The Anatomy Rooms” and most feature his perfectly husky, accented vocals accompanied by lilting, lyrical guitar, with presence of a string quartet and flute lending flesh to his bare bones, yet utterly captivating, style.
It all definitely falls into the lefthand category of TTT’s tastes, following a long thread thru the label from their early years to Blue Pedro’s novelty folk and CS + Kreme’s campfire gouch out, but to be fair we’ve rarely heard them go so pure as with ‘Beads Upon An Abacus’, where Davidson acts as protagonist for winding yarns of misty provenance and old skool woes, most attractive to our ears in the wheezing shanty harmonies of ‘Mistress Forsyth’s Jump’, the lysergic wow and flutter of ‘Persian Carpet In reverse’, and what sounds like Davidson channelling mischievous, interred souls on ‘Phosphorus Testament’, and deffo the title song’s achingly hushed beauty.
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