Review: Although they make vastly different forms of music from one another, we've always thought there was something similar about Jim Kirby and Aphex Twin. Granted, the latter has focussed primarily on bruising techno deviations, but both artists inject a noticeable level of irony and dark English humour into each one of their projects. Kirby's The Caretaker, for instance, is based around the theme of mental illness, and the project was initially conceived out of the famous ballroom scene from The Shining. You get the picture. Pole is the name you're probably most familiar with out of the long list of Jim Kirby monikers, but we have to say that The Caretaker has always been a secret favourite of ours. The shady producer is back on his own History Always Favours The Winners, this time with the second instalment of Everywhere At The End Of Time. That familiar ballroom vibe is still present and looming ominously, but the core of these tracks is in fact, rather joyful and optimistic. We like to think of its as ambient music from the real world. That is, Kirby injects enough air and movement from field recordings and samples to make the entirety of the release sound organic and almost alive. This is for those of you who seek something completely different. Magnificent release.
Review: Bleaklow, Leyland James Kirby's second album under The Stranger alias was originally released back in 2008 through his own V/VM imprint and promptly sold out. As the cult of Kirby has grown over the ensuing years, this reissue courtesy of the artist's more recent label endeavour, History Always Favors The Winners, offers a timely chance to reappraise the album. Newcomers to Bleaklow will find much to soak up in the jaded soundscapes and drone heavy passages that make up the album. Our favourite moments include the sinister tones on "Exhumation", the cavernous beats and synths of "Indefinite Ridge", and the semi-techno structure of "Inverted Burial". Shit hot.
Review: Jim Kirby's music under The Caretaker alias has always been vast, bottomless pit of horror psychedelia for fans of all things Lynch-like. Much like the movies of the great cinema director, Kirby's weird and wonderful blends of samples are as inquisitive as they are tenebrous, forever searching for that additional bit of grit amidst the lines. This is the third chapter of the Everywhere At The End Of Time series, out through his excellent History Always Favours The Winners imprint. The breadth of these 16 awkward loops is made up of eerie wind instruments, sounding all too similar to those featuring at the end of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, when Jack Nicholson's character ominously appears in the infamous painting. The Caretaker pushes those samples to their limits, stopping and starting, slowing up and slowing down magnificently, taking on a life of their own. One per customer, so be quick!
Review: Jim Kirby's History Always Favours The Winners is kind of like our holy grail when it comes to contemporary drone and noise. Both the artist and the label have provided the landscape with a strange and compelling pulse of sonics, often found floating hither and dither, filtered through beautifully cavernous machine glitch. Kirby returns under his moniker, The Caretaker, coming through with the fourth volume of Everywhere At The End Of Time. As you can imagine, this isn't the easiest music to compress into words, particularly because of its characteristically off-kilter arrangement and general layout. However, if you do want something that will make you think, this is for you. An oddball trip down loop mountain.
Review: Jim Kirby AKA The Caretaker has been serving up volumes of the decidedly experimental "Everywhere At The End Of Time" series since 2016. This four-disc set gathers together albums four, five and six, each of which was inspired by a different aspect of dementia. So while "Stage 4" offers up a quartet of music concrete style sample collages and crackle-laden 1920s period pieces, "Stage 5" is dark, noisy, intense and droning - a kind of confused, cloudy aural soundscape that defies easy categorization. "Stage 6", the final album is the series, is largely quiet and contemplative, featuring lengthy, crackle-laden ambient movements that arguably count among the artist's most impactful pieces to date.
Stage 5 Sudden Time Regression Into Isolation (22:13)
Review: The legendary Leyland Kirby returns with more extreme excursions in dark ambient music for his latest offering. In the tradition of previous releases such as Patience (After Sebald) and An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, Kirby further explores the subject of dementia via points of progression, loss and disintegration as part of his 20 years long project as The Caretaker. He evokes memories and sensations (whilst reflecting the natural processes of expiration) over a new series of six albums. On Post-Awareness Stage 5, he explores confusion, horror and isolation across several drone pieces.