A Broken Consort – Crow Autumn (Tompkins Square) LP
There must be some logic to the way Richard Skelton assigns artist names to his various releases but can your ears tell the difference between A Broken Consort, Clouwbeck, Carousell and the work Skelton releases under his own name? All of this stuff basically sounds like the string section from Godspeed You! Black Emperor attempting a recital of Arvo Pärt‘s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten on a wind-blasted English moor.
So, Crow Autumn is pretty much business as usual. Hell, doesn’t the title alone tell you everything you need to know about the Richard Skelton sound? On tracks like “Mountains Ash” and “The River”, all of the familiar elements are in place: sawing string instruments modulating between a couple of notes, terse high-end piano chords, rolling cymbals…
But here’s the thing: it works – it always works. You see, with Skelton, the sameness, the blinkered monomania… that’s the whole point. His is a world of autumnal melancholy, where crows caw and the string section from Godspeed You! Black Emperor really is attempting a recital of Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten on a wind-blasted English moor – and will be until the end of time. Few artist’s revival him for sheer aesthetic commitment. He’s the Ramones of experimental music.
How many Richard Skelton albums do you really need? Dunno but you need this one because it’s fucking great. Go buy it from Forced Exposure.