musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Folkstock Records

James Edge and the Mindstep – “Four Two Four”

Previously introduced here at Musings from Boston, James Edge and the Mindstep find their strength and their voice in seemingly chaotic joinings — classical strings and modern jazz improvisation, chamber pop and unsettling lyrics, homey folk music and a confrontational punk attitude. This results in music that is highly listenable yet at the same time, complex and challenging. Their second single from upcoming album Machines He Made (due out later this year) is titled “Four Two Four,” and it’s scheduled for release on September 23 on Folkstock Records.

(from the press release): “Order becomes disorder and harmony springs from chaos… perverting the country shuffle into something darker and more abstract… snippets of melody are distributed like splashes of colour in a Pollack painting.”

“Four Two Four” is tightly wound music, highly dependant upon the skilled dexterity of all the players, threatening to come off the ramshackle rails at any moment. Lyrics are obscure enough to leave themselves open to interpretation, yet are laced with macabre imagery for a vaguely sinister tone. All this serves to keep the ears and the mind alert and fully engaged.

The players are: James Edge (acoustic guitar, vocals), Andy Waterworth (double bass), Avvon Chambers (drums) and Howard Gott (violin). The song was recorded by Tom Aitkenhead at Milk Studios, mixed by Tom Aitkenhead and James Edge and mastered by Ade Emsley at Table of Tone.

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Pretty Music and an Ugly Video from James Edge and the Mindstep

Up for a little adventure? Meet James Edge and the Mindstep. It’s an appropriately named band, as this music definitely has an uneasy edge, and when you listen, if you fully trust and let the music transport you, that first step your mind will take is mighty steep. But it’s well worth the journey. This is experimental chamber folk, taken to the extreme. Edge (that’s James Edge, not to be confused with the Edge) has gathered together a room full of skilled instrumentalists and provided them with just enough musical notation to give them a rough idea of the song’s structure. And… GO! What you hear is spontaneous composition and experimentation in its purest form. As for the video, that’s something else entirely. If you think the music is completely unhinged, you’ll definitely want to buckle up for the video. It was a collaboration with animation genius Ross Butter, and let me just say, this dude is one sick bastard. And I say that with great respect.

Based in London, James Edge has a background in composition, studying with Joe Duddell (arranger for Elbow and New Order). In 2010, he formed James Edge and the Mindstep, they recorded their debut In The Hills, The Cities, and have worked with engineer and sometimes co-producer Tom Aitkenhead (Bloc Party, Laura Marling). The jazz-folk trio — Edge, double bassist Andy Waterworth and drummer Avvon Chambers — borrows from modern classical, jazz, folk and punk, to create music that’s compelling, raw and more than a little unnerving.

Their On A Red Horse EP will be released on April 15th on award winning Folkstock Records.

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