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Fairmont - Coloured in Memory

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Artist: Fairmont

Album: Coloured in Memory

Label: Border Community

Review date: Feb. 6, 2008

Could this be the same Jake Fairley whose jackboot glam stomp trampled all over 2004’s Touch Not the Cat? Someone has fed the feline heavy sedatives, then, for Fairmont’s Coloured in Memory is a dozy half-life of an album. It fits the Border Community aesthetic very well: the gentle prodding of softened prog-house crossed with an update on the precious wallflower noise of the shoegazers. Coloured in Memory seems content to go nowhere very far, very sleepily.

I like the idea, but the reality needs checking, as Fairley’s not firing on all cylinders. There are some lovely moments: “Mobula” and “Bikini Atoll” are both highlights, particularly the latter’s emaciated groove (note: intended as a compliment) and descending parachutes of slide guitar. The opening “Fade and Saturate” is comfortingly woozy, though we could do without the thin wisps of text that Fairley cod-whispers into the mic - or the midget chorus on “Bikini Atoll,” for that matter. Given the faint whiff of nostalgia that wafts through the record, it’s no surprise that some of Fairley’s songs want to wind the clock back to the early- to mid-1990s. “Pomegranate,” for example, has one of those tiresomely ‘sweet’ melodies that used to come, in far superior form, from the likes of Aphex Twin or B12.

“Sedatives for the Sentimental” is the key. Not only is Fairley at his strongest on this song, but the title pretty much nails the album’s emotional tone. It’s nice, but it could do with being more… demonstrative. Touch not the cat bot a glove? Hardly.

By Jon Dale

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