Boomkat Product Review:
Avant-funksters Ted Milton (Blurt) and Edward Lewis (Wire, He Said) sprout an ideal, if unexpected elision of styles as Elegiac on their remarkable debut recordings with UPP records, an offshoot of Dublin's All City.
Rightly positioned by the label as “an astonishing album made by two of Britain’s great maverick musical spirits”, on their self-titled expo Milton & Lewis really let their creative juices flow into the most curious fusions of restless but deadly cool rhythms, sax skronk and a warped myriad of voices, with Milton vacillating growls and elusive whispers with more fleeting, schizoid characters in a persistently beguiling style. We could feasibly compare the results to the likes of Mark Lanegan’s experiments with Not Waving and his missus, Shelley Brien, or even elements of Iggy Pop’s efforts with Tarwater and Alva Noto in the modern day, or even Can from way back when, but still there’s something rudely pranging but thrillingly disciplined to Elegiac that’s all their own.
Entwining spiralling helixes from Milton’s lineage of avant-jazzfunk with Blurt (and many other outfits) and Lewis’ seminal history of driving post-punk (Wire) and mutant ‘80s grooves (He Said), the album is a proper strange pleasure; nimbly getting into it with the spring-heeled step and quizzical vox of ‘Vous Et Ici’ and really coming into their own with the brittle breakbeats and Nyman-esque string jabs of ‘So Far’, while the minimalist intricacies of ‘The Swish’ show off Lewis’ natty production chops at their best, and ‘He Folds’ even appears to echo Ghédalia Tazartès experiments, with ‘Vancouver Slim’ ideally bridges their sound with the sort of sax experiments explored by Ben Vince.
It’s a right headful we tell ya!