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Boomkat Product Review:
If a dusty piano sat in an empty house began to play itself, would it make a sound...? Well I reckon yes, and if it did it would then there's a fighting chance it would sound similar to the gorgeous 'Mystery Year' from Dorset's Sancho - wherein thirteen deeply atmospheric and utterly beguiling tracks unfold to create a tapestry of tarnished beauty. Weaved from folk guitars, found sounds, clicking circuitry and the age worn piano, 'Mystery Year' sees the nine piece collective who comprise Sancho drifting in and out of compositions with an ease that is completely infectious - resulting in the listener being fully cocooned in its warm and welcoming folds. Opening with the cunning avant flourishes of 'We've Missed You', Sancho cleverly combine a slew of disparate elements to form a warbling and mournful introduction that wears its rustic viola and junkyard theatrics with consummate ease. Piecing together influences that range from Krautrock and elctro-folk, through to IDM and post-rock, Sancho's vision is broad without becoming impersonal - as the cracked majolica of 'Nobodies' recalls Dictaphone before 'Self (Opened) Self' chucks everything into the mix and comes out smiling. Elsewhere, 'I'm On Your Side' is a fabulous Euro-scented folk ballad, 'Spare Rooms' gets a grasshopper in for rhythm duties, whilst '20 Messages' gets the blood pumping through some energetic rock hubris. Tender yet poignantly fierce, 'Mystery Year' is full of surprises - all of them good.