Review: Matt Bartram – Left To Memory

As one half of The Static Silence, Matt Bartram represents the lighter side of shoegazing with the emphasis on songs rather than effects. As a solo artist, though, Bartram reveals a very different side to the story with his music knee deep in layers of noise. Or is it really as different as he’d have us believe?

‘Keep Behind The Light’ recalls Jesus And Mary Chain on a budget and is one of the few songs that doesn’t require you to burrow your way through the multiple layers to find the core melody. ‘Visions Pt. 1’, on the other hand, drifts into hypnotic, ambient territory and neatly ushers in ‘Pylon’, the track which finds Bartram at his most compelling as his chilling vocal casts a haunting cloud over the insistent drone. ‘Twelve String Loop’ (featuring ex-Slowdive member Christian Savill) is equally involving as its steadily shifting soundscapes draw you in to the submerged tune and if you peeled back ‘Shadows’ to reveal its centre, you’d probably find a Brit-pop anthem fighting to get out.

Make no mistake, ‘Left To Memory’ requires time and patience to absorb all its noises. Yet it eventually yields rewards and ultimately you’re left with the essence of popular music. Not exactly original then but quite clever, really.

Web Sites:
Matt Bartram MySpace
Drifting Falling Label and Shop Site

Further Listening:
The Static Silence, Air Formation, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Flying Saucer Attack

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