British trio Leverton Fox take a rickety kitchen sink approach to their debut album ‘Country Dances’. Members Alex Bonney (electronics, trumpets) and Tim Giles (drums, percussion and electronics) are regulars on the London improv circuit, while Berkshire-based Matt Groom (electronics, guitars) brings a theatrical component from his background in film, doubtless more noticeable in their live shows but nonetheless evident on this recording. ‘Twisted radiophonic improv’ they call it, with a heavy dose of psychedelia and noise, and that’s pretty much on the mark: think early Cage and Stockhausen meeting Mouse on Mars, stoned, with added drums.
The radio reference is apt, as squall and fuzz slips and slides all over, twisting voices into ghostly robotic traces, static given solo slots like earnest jazz. Elsewhere digital tones dominate, like on ‘Prang’ where jerky rhythms slam like Ryoji Ikeda before collapsing in a riotous heap. Leverton Fox look also to that undersung giant of sampladelica Spike Jonze, and a similarly impish joy in creating kooky sounds from myriad sources abounds. Fortunately Country Dances also contains calmer moments, and pieces like ‘Robbed Out’s and ‘Absenting’ are their most enjoyable – spacious, spacey experiments in subtle stereo trickery and sonic minutiae.
Joshua Meggitt (https://www.cyclicdefrost.com/)