Review: Since returning to action last year following a near eight-year hiatus, Pete Swanson and Jed Binderman's Freedom To Spend label has been on an impressive run of form. Predictably "Music and Poetry of the Kesh" is another doozy. It was first released on cassette way back in 1985 and saw experimental composer Todd Barton (then still finding his feet in music) and science fiction writer and poet Ursula K De Guin join forces for the first and only time. It's a curious but thoroughly absorbing and entertaining set that mixes and mangles spoken word passages, experimental choral pieces, crackling filed recordings, dreamy analogue electronics, Berlin School ambient, elements of pastoral folk and more than a few nods towards the giants of American minimalism.
Review: Jazz-man Greg Foat has always been more open-minded and eclectic than many give him credit for, delivering nods to pastoral folk, movie soundtracks and library music amongst his more jazz-focused output. Even so, "Photosynthesis" is still a curveball, featuring as it does drowsy and mostly leisurely soundscapes that move from Radiophonic Workshop influenced weird-outs and mutant lounge music, to stoned horizontal grooves and post trip-hop soundscapes. Interestingly, some of the album's standout moments come laden with woozy electric pianos and the kind of hazy, slow motion guitar motifs that evoke mental images of long, drawn-out sunsets.