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THLMS20: RED WINE AND SUGAR – “Lake / Wildflower”

Lake/Wildflower offers up twenty minutes of prime Red Wine and Sugar, pushing their distinctive pairing of sound and spoken text into increasingly eccentric forms. Groves’ vocals are sparsely sprinkled over two constantly shifting compositions that move from uneasy atmospherics to tactile crunches, distant hisses, sinking arpeggios and a sudden eruption of detuned strings. Following on from their recent LP A Population of Indoor Cats (Index Clean, 2019), these two pieces find the pair moving even further away from the clichéd ‘darkness’ that dogs so much contemporary electroacoustic music. Instead, we are offered an airy,  mercurial sound world, where haunted ambience sits alongside hand percussion and harmoniums as Groves ruminates on dry-cleaning bills, Youtube, and gym routines.

Without a doubt, Lake/Wildflower is one of the most singular entries in the often-tired genre of ‘men-at-home-with-tape-machines’ heard in recent times.

Francis Plagne
September 2019