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Ben McGarvey

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Manchester’s Ben McGarvey is a bedroom experimentalist, who after carefully writing music and mucking about generally with different sounds, has completed this full length album with a willing ensemble of musicians. “Too Busy Framing” is both innovative and riddled with searching, MOR sounds. But these are the kind of open, smooth ballads that you could listen to all day. Beats chime in with the distant influence of drum and bass, then there’s the slightly off-tune strings and a more than the occasional excursion off the radar ( “Echo 1”). It all adds to the sometimes moody and always powerful approach. It helps too, that Ben McGarvey can sing and come up with the requisite melodies and harmonies. The folkish rock of “Disjointed” cleverly combines some superbly mixed lo-fi drums whilst the song whips along with a pleasing croon. This is an astoundingly accomplished album that twists alternative folk with the traditional, yet uses technology to compelling effect.

By Parker Knoll, Manchester Music (March 2008)

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