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Broken Chanter

Ambient 1: Music For Airing Cupboards (bandcamp)

By • May 9th, 2020 • Category: Single review

Like many musicians in this terrible period, David MacGregor has been looking inwardly and has produced this rather splendid EP of “ambient lockdown” (yes this is now a genre). Somewhat different to the usual Broken Chanter and Kid Canaveral fare, it is entirely instrumental but none the worse for it.

Opener ‘Abhainn Glac Na H-Eaglais’is a beautiful guitar lament with background of birdsong (those pesky starlings) to remind us that despite human problems, life and nature goes on regardless, maybe the joke is really on us after all…

‘Cairnlea’ is even more ambient and unlike anything BM has heard from this artist, but pushing the comfort zones is a good thing, and this sounds great, with layered synths and electronic percussion – more Vini Reilly meets Brian Eno in downtown Shawlands…

There is more birdsong on ‘Shutter’ including thae crows that crow… drifting in and out of cancelled consciousness and furloughed existence, the instruments combine along some beautiful lines.

Closing track ‘Agnes’ is truly ambient, like a field recording – the music struggles to get through the background noise but when it does, it is a mid-paced clunk before the sound washes in again, with the similarity to the tide (which we are all missing a lot!) – there are further squeezy keyboards and electronic percussion before the song bows out with some more tides of gentle noise.

BM thinks that this work stands very well beside the Broken Chanter album and David MacGregor’s previous work and hopes that he includes at least some of it when he/we can all commune together in a live setting, whether that be this year, next year or whenever – cannae wait!

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