When Martin Cummings emerged with the first Northerner album, ‘The Ridings’, in 2009, he helped to put Yorkshire on the map for quality ambient/post-rock music. Whilst that contained lots of different styles, ‘I Am On Your Side’ cranks up the ambition further as it tackles a number of genres that are usually more closely associated with American artists.
The key to ‘I Am On Your Side’ is subtlety as much as variety. Not everything sticks, for instance, there simply isn’t enough going on in the dubby ‘Shipley Hush’ to make it exciting. However, hip-hop and soul samples converge on Ultramarine-sytyle ambient folk for ‘Hey Come On, It’s Love’ and ‘Line Noise’, house music is covered courtesy of ‘Health And Safety’. whilst ‘Cala Macarelleta’ brings a level of intelligence to chill-out.
There’s also another constant in ‘I Am Your Side’ and that is Cummings’ understated guitar playing (best heard on the serene title track). Like the oft-revered Durutti Column, his style is understated, evocative and never less than melodic.
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