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Review: 'Haeffner, Nick'
'The Electromagnetic Imaginary'   

-  Label: 'Dimple Discs/Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: '20.7.22.'

Our Rating:
The Electromagnetic Imaginary is a new solo instrumental album by Nick Haeffner who you may know from The Tea Set or Clive Pig And The Hopeful Chinaman. This album is almost modern classical but with a few dancefloor twists and other strange diversions. The band includes Andy Golding, Mike Adcock, Ian Montague, Sylvia Hallett and Finn Kidd. You will need to buy the cd to get the full album as it contains some tunes not on the download version.

The album opens with the sitar like EFS 2021 Extended that has tablas and sitars creating a laid back but detailed musical panorama to start to bewitch and beguile the listener.

Into The Pointless Forest is the soundtrack to walking slowly into a haunted forest in a dark and melancholic film, the pipes almost sounding like they are being played from the top of the nearest castle before it goes unexpectedly dance floor experimental digi-dub.

The Clearing In The Forest has a guru sat crossed legged playing a sitar as the brass sounds out the message for a proclamation and something serious takes place.

Slouching Towards Walthamstow slowly making your way along the Lea Bridge Road, this rumbles like the traffic, with the horns blaring for the idiot doing something odd by the Bakers Arms, as the violin solo leads us off in a hurry down Hoe Street hoping Ugly Child records is still open or Small Wonder still has those import singles I couldn't afford last time. For me this tune feels perfect for a reverie on times spent in Walthamstow in the 80's and the sounds you could hear coming out of record shop doorways.

Goodbye Mr Pushkin is strummed acoustic guitars and tambourine led tune of introspection as thoughts turn towards the Bronze Horseman once more imbued as he is with memories of Pugachev and his rebellion and the terrible consequences of those times as this tune gets darker but always sounds rather poetic, or it might just be memories of Nick's cat Mr Pushkin.

A New Life Awaits You has all sorts of anomalous sounds clashing and intertwining until the strings take over like a modern classical beginning that expands and adds some typewriter and buzzing noises around the rather pretty string ensemble.

The Great Indoors Solo Guitar Edit does what you guess it might, but with some nice twists and turns along the way while recalling Alex Chilton playing baroque guitar figures.

Ludwig At Clearwater Version has a harp and bass strummed and plucked and somewhat downbeat feel to it.

Everything Begins Again has the briefest vocal interjection as this rather stirring and poppy tune gets going and you try to work out where you know the guitar line from as the percussion breaks in and it sounds like it comes from a 1980's tv cop show. Until the vocal samples return to have a quick nod in the direction of Blood & Roses Lover Under Will.

The album closes with Grant Hotel Abyss that feels like the soundtrack to a cataclysmic event at a vast European hotel with the orchestral denouement feeling overly dramatic and rather final.

Find out more at https://nickhaeffnerdimplediscs.bandcamp.com/album/the-electromagnetic-imaginary https://www.facebook.com/nickhaeffner

  author: simonovitch

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