Nov 2012 26

Andrew Poppy - Shiny Floor Shiny CeilingAndrew Poppy
Category: Experimental / Neo-Folk
Album: Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling
Stars: 3
Blurb: A slew of guest vocalists amid backdrops of minimalist pseudo-classical ambience and rhythm makes for a pleasantly soothing, though hardly revelatory listen.


A prolific and underexposed minimalist composer since the early ‘80s, Andrew Poppy has worked with a wide range of artists over the years, from the proto-industrial abstraction of Coil and Psychic TV to the more rhythmic fare of Nitzer Ebb and Erasure to the more alternative styles of The The and Strawberry Switchblade. With Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling, Poppy brings in a full range of his abilities in avant-garde classical and jazzy electronic experimentation with a complement of collaborators to achieve an album as soothingly mellow as it is expansively cinematic. With “12 Thoughts on the Language of Others” beginning the album with a light rhythmic pulse that gradually rises to a subdued intensity as Poppy recites repeating stanzas in his distinguished Kent accent, the album begins in a delightful yet morose tone that immediately brings to mind the multimedia performance art of Mirror or David Lynch. Similarly, Poppy’s sharp-tongued spoken passages on “Do the Flip” and “If I Could Copy You” bear the poetic impressions of laments on modern socio/technological concerns akin to Kenji Siratori. The trend continues as Claudia Brücken’s saccharine voice lends an air of simultaneous melancholy and accessibility to “Dark Spell,” while the twin pieces of “Persephone Calls” and “Persephone Scream Dream” evoke an operatic ghostliness that is as much lyrical tone poem as it is conceptual art piece. James Gilchrest’s dynamic voice, often beginning as a low croon in the vein of David Bowie or Chris Connelly and then ascending to the higher flutters befitting an accomplished classical vocalist, carries tracks like “Singing into the Air” and the title track into a blissfully melodic and serene space between pop pleasantness and artful introspection, backed by twinkling pianos and swells of strings, while Bernardo Devlin’s gritty, slightly quivery baritone occasionally transforming into a distorted rasp on “Knackers” adds to the sparse piano and drum backdrop, evoking the vast emptiness of a desert landscape. The instrumentals across Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling keep with Poppy’s traditionally minimalist style, very rarely deviating from a simple path of looped beats, bass pulses, and waves of orchestral ambience to create an effect both subtle and sublime and making the album very vocally driven. Consistently soothing and lyrically provocative throughout, Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling is hardly a revelatory album as much as it is another solid entry in Andrew Poppy’s diverse discography, sure to provide for many repeated listens.
Track list:

  1. 12 Thoughts on the Language of Others
  2. Dark Spell
  3. Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling
  4. Persephone Calls
  5. Dance With Me
  6. Persephone Scream Dream
  7. Unraveling
  8. Singing into the Air
  9. If I Could Copy You
  10. Knackers Yard Blues
  11. Do the Flip

Andrew Poppy Website
Andrew Poppy MySpace
Field Radio
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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