Boomkat Product Review:
Yet another remarkable discovery yielded by Jonny Trunk, this one a near-mythical LP of dreamy percussive arrangements made in 1979 by an (nearly) all-girl ensemble from Aberdeen, Scotland, and featuring the recorded debut of (the now) Dame Evelyn Glennie.
"Legendary privately pressed 1979 LP from Scotland. This illusive, super rare and sublimely wonderful percussion album is like no other. Hypnotic, celestial, even cosmic and ambient in parts and totally unique in all ways, it was played by a group of 11 girls with an average age of 14. The group included Evelyn Glennie, who was destined to become one of the world’s greatest percussionists. This is her first ever record.
My original copy of the album came from Spitalfields market in London. I loved the music the second it started, because it reminded me of Carl Orff and peculiar library. So I started to investigate it further, and eventually, thanks to the highly tuned world of percussion, was given the address of Ron Forbes. I got in touch with him and now we have this, a formal release of something quite lovely that was only previously available very briefly in 1979 at concerts when the young girls performed.
The music here is really quite unique, with a celestial swirling hypnotic quality. The blend of glockenspiels, xylophones, vibraphones, marimba and timpani drums is quite intoxicating and can recall the shimmering warmth of the desert sun one minute (“Baia”) or freezing glacial ice caps the next (“Circles”). The Ensemble perform with an effortless tightness and deftness of touch, building textured layers with recurring percussive motives which appear simultaneously dense and yet sparse, almost sounding like modern sampling. In fact, while struggling to find a musical comparison, during the pulsating introduction to "Percussion Suite" I found myself recalling "Gamma Player", a piece of soulful Detroit techno minimalism from Jeff Mills (Millsart - “Humana” EP 1995) with its rhythmic percussion layered with complex emotion. Weirdly enough, other tracks on that EP also prominently feature xylophone and tuned percussion, although obviously synthesised and programmed, a good 20 years after the CPE first recorded."