Beverly Glenn-Copeland - Primal Prayer
Well ain't this something. Originally released in 2004 under the name Phynix, a pseudonym Glenn had adopted following a sudden illness and near-death experience from which he fortunately recovered, Primal Prayer is now seeing a wider release through ORG using Glenn's full name, presumably because of the attention finally (and rightly) recently afforded to his lifelong work. Anyone familiar with Glenn's history and music, or simply reading meaning into that original Phynix (pronounced 'phoenix', of course) moniker, will be aware of how central the notion of renaissance is to his work - rebirth as integral to the discovery of true self. Glenn's work has consistently shifted in form, and Primal Prayer is yet another example of that, the electronic production certainly reflective of the era in which it was recorded (i instantly thought of Bristol), while at the same time distinctly BG-C: you cannot escape that voice. If you're looking for some kind of sonic touchstone, I'd almost suggest this is post-trip-hop/chill were that not so gauche, but opening track 'La Vita', surely one of the greatest moments in Glenn's incredible catalogue, is uncannily Massive Attack-like, soulful, assertive, pained but affirmative. As opening tracks go, it's a hell of a statement and it took me a moment to get to the rest of the record because I kept re-loading it. But when you do the riches are deep and wide, the instrumental title track particularly astounding in its freshness. This is music taking from deep sources. And what's most notable about this album is how joyous it is despite its painful origins, and i think that's the fundamental defining trait of BG-C as a whole - the ability to turn pain, suffering, prejudice even, into something transcendent. More remarkable music from a remarkable person. Do not hesitate.
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