Domino – 2001 – 43 minutes
Lest you be confused this is not a new Pram release, it incorporates a variety of material - some previously released, some reworked by others. Four of the tracks including opener 'Mother of Pearl', were released on last year's critically acclaimed album, 'The Museum of Imaginary Animals'.
'Mother of Pearl' is a loungy carnival of trumpets, with tiers of sound bouncing lightly around. Trumpets also abound on 'The Way Of The Mongoose' which includes some seventies-style mystery saw sounds, culminating like a car chase anthem. 'Monkeypuzzle' hints at a Latin vibe, with Rosie Cuckston's angelic vocals dancing all over it. It's part low-fi experimental, part haunted indie ballad. Warp boys Plone bring their own brand of lush, kitsch electronica to 'Bewitched'. Movietone man Sam Jones dons his Balky Mule guise to churn up dark tinklings in 'Play Of The Waves'. Twisted Nerve supremo Andy Votel remixes 'The Last Astronaut' with an aquatic, breakbeat touch.
While there's no doubting the musical range on the album, it's a highly stylised niche piece that will probably garner a small but select audience. It espouses some of the same musical dynamic as To Rococo Rot and Warp bands Plaid and Autechre, but it falls sadly short, straying into repetitive and unimaginative territory. For the most part, this is one for the Pram fans.
Tracklisting: Mother of Pearl – The Way Of The Mongoose – Monkeypuzzle – Clock Without Hands – Bewitched (Plone Mix) – Play Of The Waves (Balky Mule Mix) – Omnichord (Terry:Funken Mix) – The Last Astronaut (Andy Votel Mix) – A Million Bubbles Burst (Sir Real Mix)