Artist – Wizards Tell Lies
Album – Lost King, After You
Label – MuteAnt Sounds
Release – March 2017
Link – https://muteantsoundsnetlabel.bandcamp.com/album/wizards-tell-lies-lost-king-after-you
Reviewer: Wayne Rex
There’s an old saying round these parts, that you can NEVER trust a wizard, because they’re lying gobshites and after much anticipation surrounding this record I was hoping that this very honest wizard wasn’t actually telling porky pies. Could it be worth the wait and, an ambient, minimal, gloomy, jazz vibing, with tightly constructed beats and more atmosphere than you could shake a cymbal stand at or, could it just be a big stinking pile of pooch excrement that makes you want to stab your ear drums out with a rusty, blunt screwdriver? Well, I am delighted to announce that it is the former. This is a rather excellent album indeed.. in fact it’s better than excellent but my rather poor vocabulary can only stretch to excellent or perhaps tremendous.
From the very opening track ‘Tinderbox Night Dogs (The Vision)’ you know that a lot of production value has gone into this record. I mean in it’s sound quality and professional arrangement and not that I think it’s been over produced, because it hasn’t. Darkly menacing, eerie swooping noises and effects with a bass line that you know is going to build up the track, layer by layer, into something kick-ass. Then some soaring and emotional sax playing kicks in and really gets the pulses excited to what sonic brilliance your ears are about to experience with this and the following five tracks. Some, casual but tight, jazzy influenced drumming and voice samples only build the atmosphere and in my mind it’s raining, nighttime, I’m in a seedy part of town and life is bloody good, if not a little sinister.
Next up is a track entitled ‘Cursed Paths’ and again, production values are high and the composition tip-top. Ambient, noises and some cracking bass and beats give me a vibe of a Bristol kinda sound but still totally unique and original. This is a track that needs you to turn up the speakers to fully appreciate all that is going on in this record. There’s as much akin to a classical piece of music as there is to electronic.
‘They only come out at night’ is the third track (Boo already halfway through) and this track is really my kinda track. Some great jazzy and funky drumming, keeping a tight but staggering beat that you want to hear over and over. Some great drum programming and/or sampling has gone on here and I really dig it. Like some righteous dude in a Parisian nightclub playing his heart and soul out and accompanied by an electronic wizard mastermind setting the atmosphere to a higher plateau until you genuinely do feel you heart racing.
The fourth track is called ‘The Damned Procession’ and for me there is an industrial vibe going on here. Moody, sci-fi drenched atmosphere, electric beats that sound sinister and menacing. Squealing noise that could come from a robotic pig and all slowly building and gaining on you. It make your mind want to run as your life might just depend on it but ultimately and thank the baby Jesus, it’s just a mind boggling track of awesomeness and nothing more sinister than that.
Track number five is ‘Arrow Bee’s Backwards Mirror’ shows us once more the great musical mind that Wizards Tell Lies has with some more wonderful drum programming/sampling and more sax (Played by the excellent John Lunny) that would fit right in on the Blue Note roster but all the better for featuring on the mighty MuteAnt Sounds Label. This is like some exquisite free jazz rock fusion. I want to play this again and would love to experience this live with powerful speakers and the unbeatable live atmosphere. This is peerless to anything else similar that is out there at the moment.
Last but not least we have ‘3 days (Alice)’ and starts with some psychedelic, acid inspired sounds and vibes then soon we are treated to an accompaniment of sultry bass and casual, who gives a fuck drums, played (if live), I’d hope, by someone smoking a cigarette with a face that looks like they want to kill you and spit down your neck. There’s also a minimal drum & Bass / Trip hop vibe to it. It’s not out and out that style as like the rest of the album it’s immaculately put together using so many styles and influences that you really cannot tell and that is a genius thing to achieve and moreover to do well. This is a perfect track and is up there with what we’re told is the best around, but I think it’s better than most of the similar artist that people like the Wire would recommend.
To summarise, this is a superb, well crafted and produced, musically brilliant record that you really should download now. I have other work to do but like the imaginary drummer track six conjured up, I’m going to say, fuck it and listen to this through again.