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gabriel saloman (of yellow swans) - Soldier's Requiem
Former Yellow Swan Gabriel Mindel Saloman slopes further into shadowy solo realms with his latest for the consistently excellent Miasmah label. 'Soldier's Requiem' is doubtless the most impressive in his string of records released post-YS - the dance scores 'Adhere' and 'Riots Don't Just Happen' - receding deeper down the spiral to a sound haunted with spectral keys, heart-aching string drones, martial percussion and sodden field recordings. It summons the misery of war in the bleakest colours, first swirling plaintive, subtly uncomfortable solo piano phrases into slow rising string drones at the bottom of the register in 'Mine Field' before marshalling a battery of rattling snares with 'Marching Time'. There follows the transporting location recordings of 'Boots On Ground', trudging in the rain to a lone guitar refrain and what may be a wounded bassoon harmonised with itself in the kind of resonant drone that quakes down to the marrow. The drums return and the whole thing is steeled like some Godspeed epic with visceral electric guitar fuzz until the moment passes and we're left in the drizzle, shivering and shellshocked. 'Cold Haunt' sustains the atmosphere, reprising the same bowed low-end motif to a restrained but powerful finale.