Nova Scotia - Old Light
Horn of Plenty close out (we think) a banner year with the first vinyl release from NZ trio, Nova Scotia, a shadowy act in varying degrees of operation for nigh on two decades now. Comprising Little Skull's Dean Brown alongside Dick Whyte and Rick Jensen, the three piece's shared experimental approach feels like a direct continuation of the wild 'n' free South Island underground, taking cues from the Dead C and World Resources activity and bending it to their own will. Old Light is exactly that, live recordings from the band's early noughties incarnation. The live setting seems to suit their approach well, drone-based free improvisation that shows as little regard for fidelity as it does conventional structural form, employing a wide range of instrumentation - flute, sax, violin, guitar, found objects++ - in a way that amounts to a iconoclastic debasing of folk tradition with free jazz/noise instinct. As cerebral and explorative as their work is, there's also a loose instinctiveness at play, too, searching towards beauty and collective understanding as much as dissonance. One or the other is just fine, to get both is a treat. And it's wonderful to hear three players (long time friends from school age, of course) perform in such expansive unity. Another great uncovering from HoP, and an ideal accompaniment to the Little Skull release from a few months back, that same translucent glow of faded memory captured in blissful static.
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