Solitaire

karina-esp

From 22 May 2014, we have Karina ESP with their album A Still From The Film (MORC RECORDS MORC#69). This release is dominated by the A-side, a substantial chunk of slow ambient guitar serenity delivered by the musician using his effects pedals with the gossamer touch of a butterfly. There are some gentle murmuring crackles mixed into the music too, to create the impression of hearing a heavenly LP record that spins for all eternity in this slightly forlorn yet golden world of loneliness. This long track, called ‘Low Red Room’ may appear a little insubstantial, but it has a focus and concentration which is somewhat lacking on the flip side of this LP, which is reserved for showcasing the musician’s vocals in three pieces which, given their general minimalism and deconstructive method which lays bare their very mechanics, one would hesitate to call “songs”. The singer makes his plaintive and heartfelt utterances in a hesitant and whispery fashion, almost afraid to ruin the mood of the afternoon by saying the wrong thing. The fumbling attempts of a teenager to declare his love could hardly be less awkward, but I expect that Karina ESP is enjoying this picnic on the grass in a more solitary fashion. Karina ESP is the work of Chris Gowers based in London, although this particular slice of reticent introversion was recorded in Paisley in Scotland. I note he’s been making records under this name since the late 1990s for Evelyn Records, but this album is his second release for this Belgian label.