Matt Stevens – Relic (Burning Shed)

Post rock in a flamenco style sounds odd doesn’t it. It’s nothing like that of course. Matt’s music provides flavours, colours and patterns which have finally attracted the attention of the super cool Burning Shed label.

Lest you feel comfortable however, because that semi-structured passage is about to be reversed and will categorically mess with your head (but in a good way). Those of you familiar with Matt’s work will instantly recognise the style of Nightbus and live favourite Rusty. The former could easily be mistaken for Matt’s post rock ensemble The Fierce and the Dead (also worth seeking out). Relic (the title track) delivers a statement of intent that is unsettling in its complex simplicity. If that’s a contradiction then you are close to understanding the effect of Matt’s music because the complexity isn’t gratuitous. 20 GOTO 10 has a comforting Fripp series of repetitive but fractured notes before the spanish flavoured Rushden Fair returns a semblance of order to the proceedings. On ‘Scapegoat’ Matt takes an unusual time signature and reaches a point where I can finally define his sound. Not literally of course. More a feeling of diverging paths finally coming together and making sense. It’s a track I’ve played over and over because it hits that post rock space (that zenith) that is difficult to find (unless you are Mogwai of course). It is beautiful, haunting and challenging all at once. Sand (Part 2) develops into the audio representation of a complex equation and the looping frenzy which draws the album to a close shifts the balance of the preceding 5 minutes firmly off the fulcrum. 4/5

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