Boomkat Product Review:
Bursting at the seams with 31 exclusive and previously unreleased works by Félicia Atkinson, Fennesz, Malibu, Christina Vantzou, Takagi Masakatsu, JAB, Oliver Coates, Zelienople, Meitei, Clarice Jensen, Mary Lattimore, Alex Zhang Hungtai, iIlyas Ahmed, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Louise Bock and many others, consider ‘A Little Night Music: Aural Apparitions’ your home listening class of 2021 group portrait.
Spanning over two hours across two cassettes, 'A Little Night Music…’ unfurls itself in a literary horror structure, appearing and disappearing through a stirring Prologue and Epilogue by London-based cellist Oliver Coates, with each side of the cassettes introducing its Chapter with a chilling dirge courtesy of the inscrutable Geographic North House Band. Taking the pulse of offbeat ambient, avant-classical and cranky modern composition 2 years after their smart ‘Don’t Look Now’ compilation, Geographic North’s latest one goes deeper and further with a broader selection of label regulars and names both new and familiar.
Oliver Coates and the Geographic North House Band are prominent, with the former providing poetic prologue and epilogues, and the latter marking the chapters with beautifully sore synth vignettes, while the main body invites the romantic ambient pop sentiments of Malibu, Meitei, Félicia Atkinson, and a must check head-ringer from Alex Zhang-Hungtai (Dirty Beaches, Trouble), plus scuzzed Viennese grandiosty from Fennesz, all sequenced with highlights of their label catalogue such as cellist Louise Bock’s furrowed ‘Flummox’, a sort of wintry string mirage from Clarice Jensen, and the gently weeping guitar of Ilyas Ahmed.