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1 Floom Magazine Writer Profile James Darton 1


James Darton

Contributing Editor

Listen to the Floom Sounds Spotify playlist here! We'll update it with every new instalment.

Through The Trees pt 2 - Mount Eerie

‘Through The Trees pt. 2’ kicks off Clear Moon, one of two records that Mount Eerie (aka Phil Elverum) dropped simultaneously in 2012. Of the two, I’ll always be more partial to the black metal leanings of its companion record, Ocean Roar, but both are great entries in the discography of Phil Elverum who of course was formerly better known as The Microphones.

‘Through The Trees pt. 2’ is another existential ode to nature, exemplary of Elverum’s ability to capture the beauty and horror of nature all at once; the chaos and confusion that punctuates moments of serenity. It's a song built from a series of pretty, hesitant moments that crescendo almost imperceptibly until suddenly you’re left with the merest hint of backing and Elverum’s voice:

“I've held aloft some delusions
From now on I will be perfectly clear: There's no part of the world more meaningful
And raw impermanence echoes in the sky”

Field Punishment - Teeth Of The Sea

There’s something both maddeningly obtuse and continuously illuminating about Teeth Of The Sea’s fourth album. Regardless, ‘Field Punishment’ is a great slice of driving, mechanical beats that sounds way more inviting than it has any right to, given the discordant ambience and clanging synths spilling out all over the place.

Passion Flower - MF DOOM

Classic instrumental DOOM from when he still put out records on a way more regular basis. Passion Flower is indebted to its great sample from Arthur Verocai, a Brazilian composer and producer who would basically be unknown were it not for the sample-homages of DOOM and contemporaries such as Madlib and Cut Chemist.

Stuttering beats and an even more stuttering snatch of nursery-rhyme like flute playing give way to muted brass fanfares and over-enthusiastic drum fills. It never breaks a sweat and is probably exactly what you’d expect to find towards the tail end of a record called Special Herbs Volume 9…

Sassafras Girl - Pleasure

Flawless R&B from Pleasure’s third album, released in 1977 and produced by the Jazz legend Wayne Henderson. It’s a veritable odyssey in the way that only music from that period could get away with being: tootling keys, soaring sax and (of course!) breathy male vocals repeating the title over and over with various thrusts and elaborations thrown in for good measure.

Who knows what it is exactly about this girl that reminds these sensuous vocalist of a deciduous tree native to North America? Who knows. What I do know is that I’m literally slinking around in my seat right now and I never thought it was possible to ‘slink’ whilst sitting until I heard this track.

Plant Lillies At My Head (version) - Tropic of Cancer

Ending this edition of Floom Sounds with some atmospheric, gothic melodrama. Tropic Of Cancer (aka Camella Lobo) moans ethereally over deceptively tremulous bass notes and a reverb-heavy guitar line while icy synths force themselves to the fore before retreating and repeating. It’s a formula that’s been aped many times since the glory days of 4AD bands like Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil, but ToC does it way, way better than most.

By the way, I’ve only picked the ‘version’ version over the original because it was produced by Regis, and appears on his own Blackest Ever Black release from last year, Manbait. A compilation of previous productions it might be but it’s still one of the absolute essential records of the past few years. This is an ambient send-off in contrast to the pummeling, inventive techno that makes up the majority of the record.

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