|photo by Simon Wolf|
Despite the lack of Sheldrake's own vocals in favor of the heavily featured Brighton based artist Bunty, "Mind of Rocks" continues to weave Sheldrake's intricate production with his ever curious use of field recordings. Panamanian bats, a Scottish gale, and one of Sheldrake's beat-boxing lessons is but a few of the sounds he builds the track on. While Sheldrake hasn't shied away from being non-featured on vocals before - see "Rich" from Pelicans We which featured Andreyah Vargas, a friend of Sheldrake's, the different in the two tunes lays in the fact that the vocals in "Rich" still largely depended on Sheldrake's skillful deployment of Vargas' pre-recorded vocal samples. The result was a sort of chopped up effect that fit perfectly with the cacophonous bolder smashing Sheldrake utilized as the backbone beat of the track. "Mind Of Rocks" sees Sheldrake giving up some of the control for Bunty's more svelte, freer vocal performance. It's a track that relegates Sheldrake almost entirely to a producer role which he's proven exceptionally gifted at so far. Even as he brings in veteran composer/producer and fellow field recording enthusiast Matthew Herbert as co-producer.
And yet, there's no denying "Mind Of Rocks" is far less lush and complicatedly layered than some of Sheldrake's previous efforts - especially the multitudinous first single "Come Along" from his upcoming full length debut. But sparse - or sparser than he's been recently is refreshing and definitely provides an effective showcase of Bunty's vocals.
Cosmo Sheldrake's debut full length The Much Much How How and I is out April 6th on Trangressive with pre-order available now.