Our Worn Shadow
VÖ: 07.07.2006
Label: Acuarela
Vertrieb: Rough Trade Distributions

Manyfingers (aka multi-instrumentalist Chris Cole) emerged out of the shady and mysterious Bristol scene that spawned the likes of Flying Saucer Attack, Movietone, Third Eye Foundation and Amp. Previously best known as Third Eye Foundation luminary Matt Elliott´s right hand man, cellist and drinking buddy, Cole has also been a sometime member of legendary pastoralists Movietone as well as being the current drummer of the excellent post rock band Soeza.

Cole’s relative obscurity is set to change with the release of his full lenght debut album “˜Our Worn Shadow´ “” a magnificently ambitious multi layered gem of a record. He plays piano, drums, cello, spanish guitar, accordion, vibraphone and other assorted instruments to create a veritable whirlwind of sound. The record takes its cue from the Fourtet of “˜Pause´ and “˜Rounds´ (taking in along the way influence from US based hip hop futurists Dosh and Machine Drum) but adds Yann Tiersen style accordion and string arrangements played with the intensity of Godspeed You Black Emperor! at their ground shaking best. The cyclical motifs of Philip Glass and Steve Reich are notable ensuring that the album presses all the right neo classical buttons “” often comparable to the best work of Max Richter, Rachel´s, Sylvain Chauveaux and Terry Reilly. Its an album of opposites “” the mournful accordions and weeping cello’s recall the melancholy of Matt Elliott’s recent ‘Drinking Songs’ yet when a female vocal is introduced on the excellent standout “˜For Measured Shores´, the effect is somewhat like a gallic late period Blonde Redhead. The record is impressive for the variety of melody and sounds produced, the consistently imaginative string and horn arrangements, subtle sampling and frenzied, frenetic drumming.

Don´t expect the live Manyfingers to hide behind the security of a lap top either. Manyfingers shows are life affirming and unpredictable “” Cole darts about the stage like a rabbit in the headlights layering up drums and keyboards, plucking at guitars, blowing trumpets, fiddling nervously with effects pedals. The result is mesmerising “” you can´t take your eyes of him for a minute as he frenetically builds up wave upon wave of sound. This is what stands Chris Cole apart from his peers “” his music is no bedroom based electronica “” it has the thrilling intensity of a live band yet utilises modern sampling techniques and old fashioned cut and paste methods so that it seems inconceivable that the whole thing is produced by one person. What you see live is the ultimate one man band.

Cole had been selling an early version of “˜Our Worn Shadow´ on his recent tours with Matt Elliott, Hood, Mark Eitzel and Coco Rosie. The response from fans and fellow musicians has been ecstatic. Here we present “˜Our Worn Shadow´ in its entirety with a bonus track and an accompanying DVD. The DVD is the perfect accompaniment to this LP. Intimately filmed at the Cube, Bristol’s legendary arthouse cinema, it documents in detail how Manyfingers carefully layers up vast arrays of instruments to create his hypnotic masterpieces. The DVD also includes a “short” film by Joost Van Veen, a Rotterdam based filmmaker, inspired by the track “Interlude” from the Manyfingers s/t mini album released on the Remote Viewer’s Moteer label in 2004.

Following the hullabaloo over recent records by the likes of Fourtet, Caribou and Diplo, Manyfingers is far and away the best Englishman to take on the baton and run with it into genuinely new and exciting places. “˜Our Worn Shadow´ is more than a new dawn for post rock, folktronica, electronica, neo classical or whatever you want to call it “” its a life changing record that ultimately defies categorization. Hands down the most innovative, soulful and passionate release of 2006.
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