Review: Hot on the heels of their top-selling collaboration with Quinn Lamont Luke, "The Distance", Smith and Mudd present a freshly re-mastered edition of their brilliant 2007 debut album, "Blue River". Surprisingly, it's the first time that the effortlessly Balearic set has come out on vinyl, something that should enthuse all those wax-lovers who like their grooves blissful, laidback and sun-kissed. It remains a wonderful set full of gentle, delay-laden guitar motifs, dubby yacht-rock basslines, spacey soundscapes, folksy motifs (see the impeccable title track), and jazz-funk influenced ambient instrumentals (the brilliant "Elsewhere" and "The Secret"). In other words, the album's magic has not been eroded by the passing of time.
Review: For the recording sessions for Gorthleck, long-running collaborators Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and Ben Smith set up a small studio in a loch-side house in the Scottish highlands. The dramatic scenery and ever-changing weather patterns seem to have proved inspirational, because the album is arguably the downtempo duo's strongest to date. Variously influenced by kosmiche, Balearica, neo-folk, ambient, Tangerine Dream and movie soundtracks, the album's nine tracks meander along impressively, subtly shifting shape whilst winding their way into your subconscious. It's a beautiful set from start to finish, rich with hazy musicality and mood-enhancing moments, and comes highly recommended.
Review: Benjamin Smith and Paul "Mudd" Murphy rarely disappoint, as those who copped 2016 album Gorthleck will confirm. "Janet 50" marks the experienced duo's first new material since (though we have it on good authority that a fresh full-length is also on the way). The track is typical of their work, with sumptuous, jazzy guitars, deep space effects and rich electric piano parts reclining over a blazed, Balearic disco groove. It's a sublime piece of music, all told, which is arguably made even better by B-side remixer I:Cube. The Parisian veteran thrillingly re-casts the track as a spacey, synthesizer-heavy treat rich in bleep techno inspired bass, Kelley Polar synths, gentle acid lines and Ben Smith's brilliant guitar improvisations. In other words, it's out-of-this-world good.