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|Tom Shulte. Well, I never met the guy, but he reviews a lot of stuff for on-line 'zines, and he provided the following review of blue kite's 'aleatoric' CD for www.allmusic.com - probably the most comprehensive music resource on the internet, but as with everything these days, less and less free content. Was a time when you could spend hours delving into the most obscure musical backroads there, now you have to register, soon I guess you'll have to pay. Click the images if you feel like investigating.|
Tom Shulte: "Vocalist Liz adds a warm feeling to the hypnotic, proto new wave style beats on this experimental pop album. Additional color is added by such unique instrumentation as trumpet, flute, and dark, moody cello. Intelligent and sophisticated, Blue Kite offer's the thinking man's alt-pop. The name of this album suggesting the aleatory music of chance pioneered by John Cage and others, but there is nothing merely serendipitous about these well-constructed, multi-instrumental pop gems".
|Nightshift - where would the Oxford music scene be without a free music paper? First there was 'Local Support', then there was 'Curfew' and now 'Nightshift' (actually a long long time ago there was 'Charlie Horse', no really, and 'The Back-Street Bugle', but I won't mention them in case people start wondering how old I am...). Here's a review of blue kite's 'aleatoric' CD written for Nightshift by Ian Chesterton.|
Ian Chesterton: ALBUM OF THE MONTH: “The best things so often happen by accident, every great band ever was the result of some chance meeting; it’s something blue kite are keen to emphasise with the title of their new album, a re-mastered selection of songs they’ve seduced us with sporadically over the past three years. Still it’s no accident that singer Liz’s armpits seem to be displayed all over the artwork and that’s something we could well have done without. Armpits are pretty grim at the best of times, and they certainly don’t reflect the cool fragrant beauty of blue kite’s music.
They’ve never played live so the most you probably know of blue kite is their stunning contribution to 1996’s OXCD compilation, ‘Arc Weld’, a dark languid swim through the Doors' mystical psychedelia and Stereolab’s cool Euro-jazz-pop. This collection of beatific synth pop lullabies should serve to open your minds further to that space between dreams and somnambulance that blue kite occupy.
Everything’s so gorgeously understated, subtly arranged and comfortably nervous. It’s an album you can drown in, as it washes across territory as myriad as New Order, Stereolab, This Mortal Coil, Kraftwerk and Astrud Gilberto. There’s cellos, flutes, synthesisers and trumpets scattered coyly through the songs but nothing intrudes upon the pretty folk melodies or more importantly Liz’s sultry, smooth as honey voice. If you’re into rocking out, you’d best leave now.
What marks blue kite out as superior to any number of similarly inclined sonic minimalists is their ability to spin simple seductive tapestries from complex musical threads, creating mood music that encourages empathy rather than apathy. They are more red wine and razor blades than coffee tables and lifestyle magazines. Which isn’t to say they’re morbid, merely aware of their own human frailty. A flawed but absolutely enchanting gem of an album, with or without the armpits. You’d be well advised to rub it over any and every part of your body”.
Go to the original Nightshift Oct98
The Oxford Times - I rely on this to find out what is really going on in the
world. And of course, back in January 1999, when Tim Metcalfe did his round
up of the best CDs of 1998 (see below), it was also the home of Christopher
Grays' side-splitting 'In Another Country' photo caption feature.
Sadly that's no longer with us ...
Fly a Kite for 99
I've sadly neglected to review Aleatoric, a self released album from Oxford's Blue Kite, released a couple of months back - which is odd as it hasn't been far away from my CD player since I received it. It's a unique and mellow mix of poppy jazz, drum and bass, with an ever-so-slightly folky edge to proceedings. Oxford's answer to Portishead? Well, maybe - but with far more original ideas and more than one dimension to their sound. An aural treat.