Boomkat Product Review:
Now this is a nice surprise - no sooner has he has left Planet-Mu and everyone's favourite abstract glitch-merchant is back with a folk concept album?! Yes you heard me right, 'The Forest and the Sea' is a concept album, and the story is as weird and as beardy as you'd expect from any mid 70's prog record. "The forest and the sea tells the story of two people who become lost in a forest. As they try to find a way out, the sky darkens. By nightfall, they have strayed so deep that they have no choice but to spend the night with the forest and its inhabitants. When the morning finally comes our couple wake on a cliff top between the forest and the sea, and rather than go back through the forest they decide to take to the sea." It all sounds a little Grimm does it not? All we're missing is a Gingerbread man and maybe a witch... but never mind about that.. I'm pleased to say that this album really is quite stunningly good, half of the tracks take a lightly strummed folksy approach with brash vocals from Leo Chadburn (aka Simon Bookish) and the other half veer towards John's more tried and tested digital take on musique concrete. Such musical opposites rarely fit together but the mix works absolutely perfectly, each track blending magically into the next - and the dreamlike story it conjures up aptly represents the album's overlying concept. With this full length Leafcutter John has fully realised his potential as a musician, taking in his influence from being a full time member of contemporary jazz act Polar Bear and his collection of unusual instruments, he has forged an album that is unique and inventive - let's hope there's a lot more where that came from. Highly recommended.