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Review: 'Espy, Matt'

-  Label: 'Drag City Records/Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: '19.5.23.'-  Catalogue No: 'DC868'

Our Rating:
Hawksworth is the first solo album by drummer Matt Espy who has been playing professionally since 1996 with all sorts of people and in the last ten years or so in Dead Rider. This album joins the most outdoors of genres Drum N Bird alongside Awavez Make Your Take Bluebird album or Broads & Milly Hurst's Ollust. Matt takes some bird samples and artfully arranges them before Matt plays all sorts of drums and percussion along with the birds.

The album opens with Robin Throated Sparrow that combines birdsong, with someone walking on floorboards, twanging shakers and drums with the sorts of noises that come from the rims of glasses, to make a tense sounding piece, eventually the drumming becomes more forthright against the ever-twittering bird calls.

Loon has more of an African feel both to the bird call and the drum pattern weaving beneath it, steel pan with timpani hitting deeply sonorous notes, deep into the jungle messages being sent over large distances, gongs reply to the calling Loons.

Dexlark twitters, tweets as the military snare and bass drum accentuate the terrain the Dexlark calls home, it could well be the side of a battlefield as the bass drum reports like an artillery battery becalmed by that birdsong.

Grey Winged Blackbird is a jazz bird, sparse Elvin Jones style drum pattern swirls around that Grey Winged Blackbird, that's high in the sky cawing its song, as someone struggles with the gate to the field, as the Cowbell helps ward off any evil intent among the bucolic serenity that's been disrupted.

The album closes with Thrushwren that has Moroccan style percussion accompanying the urgent twittering twisting branches blown about as those pots and pans sit within the drum kit searching for solipsistic outcomes to close this album of Drum N Bird.

Find out more at https://www.dragcity.com/products/hawksworth https://mattespy.bandcamp.com/album/hawksworth

  author: simonovitch

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