Boomkat Product Review:
Another heart-rending beauty from Sean McCann’s Recital, following superb LPs by Sarah Davachi and R.I.P. Hayman with Alex Twomey’s first album under his own name. Featuring stately, immersive compositions for brass, strings, solo piano, woodwind and electronics, it’s a startling, full-bodied approach that places 'The Entertainer’ well outside the current taste for more disposable ambient and environmental recordings, and for our money, one of the great albums of the year so far.
Best known for his work as Mirror To Mirror, Twomey has been largely absent from our airwaves since his last release for the Preservation label in 2012, an album we described at the time as sounding somewhere between Jeff Witscher’s Rene Hell and ‘Victorialand’-era Cocteau Twins. The 7 year pause for thought has pushed Twomey into much more introspective and interesting terrain; weaving orchestral elements around his still searching electronic foundations.
He takes us from the breathless opener "Red Zone” - reminding us of the tragi-romantic opulence of Kara-Lis Coverdale’s still peerless ‘Aftertouches’, and into the overflowing brass arrangements of 'Pig Symphony’, sounding like a Disney scene re-purposed into minor key solemnity - like a funeral march rendered in pastels. ‘Fun in Vegas’ and 'Velvet on Foam’ each deploy two minutes of gauzy bliss, alongside the barely contained emotional minimalism of 'Just Drinking’, while 'Driving Home’ soars to almost Vangelis levels of sci-fi romance.
Modest in length, each of 'The Entertainer’s’ 11 pieces clock in between 2 and 4 minutes long, acting like "vignettes alluding to a vague narrative”. But the duration belies a richness of ideas and honesty in execution that’s inspiring to behold, taking us on an often wrenching emotional journey that’s, above all, highly believable. Or as the label put so well “...melodies dance as twinkling bulbs along a retired parade float. A dark comedy, a tragic smile. Love found in the rough of it all."