'Utility Music' is the third album by the "brain tinglingly electrifying" (NME) Gyratory System. It follows their previous critically acclaimed releases 'The Sound-Board Breathes' and 'New Harmomy'.
This release on Soft Bodies, highlights a softer side, working alongside the more frantic industrialised sound typical of Gyratory System's earlier albums. Key influences this time around have been the late Steve Martland and his minimalist repetition, Talk Talk, the subtle electronica of The Field and the Kompakt label, Afrobeat compilations the band has ferreted out, 60s New York Blue Note artists like Eric Dolphy, and Harmonia.
The band continues to blend live brass and woodwind with distorting electronics and rhythmic convulsions. The slow synth melody of opener 'John Frum' creates the atmosphere of the wait for a returning Messiah. 'Harmonograph' and 'AAA' are the first Gyratory System tracks to feature vocals, though as ever in an unconventional way. 'The Spectrum' is the sound of a marching band misdirected through a nuclear power plant; while closer 'This Could Be Your Party' is the most epic effort by the band to date, reminiscent of 1970s Michael Rother.
Founding member and producer Andrew Blick has also been influenced by his recent involvement in providing a new soundtrack to the official documentary of George Mallory's 1924 attempt to climb mount Everest, working with Simon Fisher Turner, and Cosey Fanni Tutti of Throbbing Gristle.
'Utility Music' was completed with fellow Gyratory System members Robin Blick & James Weaver, and features Katharine Blake on vocals, violin and recorder.
Soft Bodies Records is a label devoted to releasing anything that's interesting. It launched in early 2013 with the well received compilation 'Soft Bodies Don't Bleed', a showcase of the curious and diverse artists involved with the label. It continues to grow at an exciting rate, having recently released EPs by new artists Quimper and Peter Murgatroyd, and now working with Gyratory System.