HISTORY ALWAYS FAVOURS THE WINNERS (HAFTW-009, 12” + digital)
Leyland Kirby has returned, and one song – “Polaroid”, his contribution to the compilation “SMM: Context” on the Ghostly label– wasn’t enough to quench our thirst. We need a larger dose of the man’s music to satisfy our souls: almost two years have passed since the monumental trilogy “Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was”, and the need to confirm that it wasn’t just a lucky dart –although, with his previous work as The Caretaker in mind, we knew that wasn’t the case– was growing. It was time Kirby came up with new material, fixing a refreshed sound for 2011, and that’s what he’s finally done. “Intrigue & Stuff” is another trilogy, on (transparent) vinyl, of which this release is the spectacular kick-off. For starters, the Kirby here sounds different from on previous material: grainier, tougher, more epic and nostalgic. While “Sadly…” was the pinnacle of hauntology –the desolate remembrance of a past never lived and nostalgia for a future that will never be–, the material on “Intrigue & Stuff (Vol. 1)” reinforces the feeling with the same weapons but with more bite.
Analogue in texture, Leyland Kirby alternates different moods and various production techniques. “Live For The Future, Long For The Past” and “Ruined Visions” sound cosmic, floating and somewhat disturbingly incisive. “Low Entropy” is reminiscent of B-movie horror and suspense in a handy set that sounds like Demdike Stare without the sombre part. “Neon Lit Atoms” is another piece of ambient –with ongoing pitch variations that create a feeling of anxiety and dizziness– with cosmic tendencies, and both “Re-Record Not Fade Away” and “Video 2000” are very much under the influence of Boards Of Canada –it sounds like a lo-fi, phantom version of people like Com Truise and VHS Head with a touch of Belgian new beat. All in all, what makes this record satisfying is the fact that Leyland Kirby isn’t something we’ve just discovered, but it’s good to hear he’s still making brilliant music. This series promises to be another good one.