One of this writer’s many hidden secrets is represented by his admiration of early Mike Oldfield. In particular Hergest Ridge, first occasion in which I read the name Clodagh Simonds, who sings on that album. This woman owns a great merit in front of my eyes: she has avoided overexposure, and heaven knows how deserving singers who practically disappeared are appreciated at this time (O Amanda Parsons, where art thou?). Luckily, thanks to the Fovea Hex project, we’re able to savour some more of the lady’s pleasantly egoless voice every once in a while, immersed in arrangements that mix the truthfulness of her compositional ideas with the sober refinement and evocative power of sympathetic instrumentalists. If people such as Brian Eno, Hafler Trio and several members of the Current 93/Nurse With Wound association have frequently been involved in this artist’s most recent production, this must mean something.
The nine fragments of grace comprised by Here Is Where We Used To Sing confirm and, if possible reinforce the positive response and – especially – the good vibrations generated by the Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent trilogy on this same label. Unwilling to point at selected titles, for the record should be taken as a single statement, let’s just say that this music seems to be born from oblivion to evolve into tantalizing dreams and tender tunefulness. Simonds is a poet who tries to find the right colours and acoustic environments for visions expressed by words that never for a moment sound pretentious or ridiculous, a rare gift in an era in which everyone talks without knowing what they’re saying. The songs are essential yet profound, revealing new details with each spin; an archetypal case of excess of description hurting the concept’s clarity. The limited edition features a second disc with sounds remixed and remodelled by Michael Begg, Colin Potter and William Basinski. There’s no reason to miss this, exactly as it was for the previous albums.