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.
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.
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: 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: Synth wizard, Leyland Kirby, performs his most deranged moment yet for the fourth helping of the Intrigue & Stuff series on his very own History Always Favours The Winners, a deeply experimental little saga which stuns us with each new chapter. That being said, this latest number is without a doubt our favourite one of the lot. The opener "Locked Into Situations" is a mesmerising bit of organic improv, and the same can be said for each track on here - a ride through the most cavernous corners of Kirby's mind! Check "Night Owls" for the total win!
Review: Leyland Kirby has been doing his thing since the mid-90's. Having released almost all of his music on his own History Always Favours The Winners, we can safely say that he's a self-made man. This time, he comes through with the third chapter of the Intrigue & Stuff series, a corner of his label which has been dedicated to more synth-led concoctions of intricate experimentalism. In short, Kirby places electro, ambient, noise and power electronics into a blender and hits frappe! There's a genuine sense of conceptualism throughout, with "The Start Of Wars & The End Of Eras" opening the works with odd blends of FX-heavy synths, which then moves onto more beat-oriented pieces such as "Lie Low, Pick Your Moment" and the quasi-club friendly "The Watcher & The Watched" - our favourite moment in this diverse collection of sounds. Class.
Don’t Sleep I Am Not What I Seem, I'm A Very Quiet Storm (13:14)
A Longing To Be Absorbed For A While Into A Different & Beautiful World (13:15)
Days In The Wilderness (4:17)
Stralauer Peninsula (16:40)
We All Won That Day, Sunshine (12:37)
And At Dawn Armed With Glowing Patience, We Will Enter The Cities Of Glory (Stripped) (10:43)
Review: Leyland Kirby never ceases to disappoint thanks to the variety of material that comes out through his 'History Always Favours The Winners' label and although he's set up camp in Krakow over the last few years, we still very much see him as the beating heart of modern UK leftfield. Memories Live Longer Than Dreams is his fifth LP under his own name and, as you'd imagine, this is deeply introspective affair. Ambient is at the core of this music, but the sounds across the album have a lot more in common with neo-classical thanks to their tone and placement. In other words, although this is music for the open-minded, nothing is random and no sound is out of place. Each and every segment has a particular narrative, which is undoubtedly sullen, and there is a focussed thread running through it all. It's music for thinkers and shapers; Kirby's fascination with moody, cavernous sounds is a constant source of inspiration and meditation.
Review: Leyland Kirby's History Always Favours The Winners imprint has been on fire recently, with his Intrigue & Stuff series showcasing the man's diversity and originality behind a wall of synthesizers. His 8th LP, however, could be his most creative moment yet, where hollow drones drop into murky FX tricks and cavernous whirlpools of feedback. The work is both sinister and enlightening, where Kirby manages to create a true aura. To us, the most powerful parts are in "Marple Libradome '91", where a spiritual flux of noise rushes in like a ray of sunlight, and "Smithy & Dave The Rave" - an oddly musical and harmonic avalanche of stripped electronics. A fine work.
Review: Experimental musician Leyland Kirby has been skirting round the edges of electronic music since the tail end of the '90s, delivering curious concept albums under a dizzying variety of pseudonyms (The Caretaker, The Stranger, Billy Ray Cyrix, Butcher Claws and Bored in Columbia, amongst many others). Here he dons his familiar V/VM alias for a discordant trip into drone territory supposedly inspired by fading memories of the last throes of early '90s outdoor raves. In truth, there's little in the music - a typically hissing, dystopian fusion of murky textures and becalmed electronic tones - to justify the concept, but it matters little. Kirby is a master at creating vaguely spooky, industrial-influenced soundscapes, and The Death of a Rave (A Partial Flashback) only enhances his reputation.
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.