Boomkat Product Review:
Following acclaimed releases on Touch and 12k, Slowdive's Simon Scott lands on Room 40 with a site-specific sound study that addresses the near future of the Fens.
Scott has been refining his technique over the last few records, devising a method of combining the subtle ambience of his earliest solo records with the field recordings he's clearly motivated by in his latter-day releases. "Long Drove" is his most convincing long-form expression yet, and is motivated by geopolitical issues that are very close to his heart. The one time drummer grew up in Cambridgeshire near the Fens, a flat agricultural region in the East of England that was drained centuries ago and is maintained by a criss-cross of dykes and drains. It's an area he represented over a decade ago on the 12k-released "Below Sea Level", but he approaches it now with new-found urgency and restraint.
Scott is concerned with the future of his ancestral home, which is threatened with erosion, subsidence, and the constant threat of floods. So the music on "Long Drove" is speculative almost, an idea of what the Fens might sound like if it was underwater once more. Careful, evocative and lightly processed field recordings are the base of the recordings, but Scott's secret weapon is his use of tape loops, which provide the compositions with a ghostly, familiar air of British melancholy. You can't completely turn away from climate crisis discourse right now, and neither should you, but few albums have captured the feeling of loss, history, and speculative future quite as well as this. Recommended.