Transience Blues - Drumming The Beating Heart Ill Wind Blows One By One Picture The Day Dreaming At Rain Two Veil Like Calm Throw A Shadow Pencil Sketch At Arms Length Lights Of April Before You Go Tall And White Nettles - Pale Hands I Loved So Well Warm Breath Soft And Slow Blue Distance Sheer Cliffs Falling Leaf/Fading Flower/Goodbye To Summer Lies Of Love To Ellen Pale Saints Letters To She Light Sliding Big Clipper Ship
Martyn Bates and Peter Becker had been recording together for two years when Pale Hands I Loved So Well and Drumming The Beating Heart, the third and fourth Eyeless In Gaza albums respectively, were released. Cherry Red's reissue compiles the records in reverse-chronological order, but this does little to detract from these two albums' enduring magic.The rare HANDS is especially wondrous, witnessing the maturation of Eyeless In Gaza's gift for evocative improvisational impressionism. Heart opens with "Transcience Blues", a definitive EIG track that conjures April showers with throbbing bass, parched organ, and Bates' impassioned vocals. The organ defines the album, as Bates' singing complements the instrument's alternately sinuous ("Ill Wind Blows"), sweet ("One By One"), and simmering ("Picture the Day") tone. Improvised settings invest the music with a refreshing openness, as though such songs as "Veil Like Calm" and "Lights of April" were sprung straight from the heart, not the studio. HEART's lovely second half recalls the gorgeous sketch-work of HANDS. The latter's scattered strokes of piano, reeds, guitar, organ, vocal sighs and chants, bells, sax, and rough percussion achieve music of rare beauty, imagistic power, and genuine consequence. A masterpiece.
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