The Old Magic
Redroom Records 018
It's not very often that I say “Wow!” to myself when I am presented with an album. I've seen so many in my time, they all have a front door, some groovy art and a disk inside. Sometimes the artist puts in that little bit more effort, seeks a great manufacturer, and produces something that gives their audience that mystical extra touch which lets them know they're special.
Sieben's latest physical release of The Old Magic offers the home run version of this very real effect, showcasing the music in a nifty four way opening art box, rammed to the edges with quality and mysterious imagery, by Martin F. Bedford, fit for discerning progressive folk rock fans the world over. Lyric offerings make the experience as interactive as possible, as I can read along with the songs and perhaps attempt to make my own accompaniment in good time.
Calling upon spirits of old and using the soul's intimate mirror into the past as a focal point for sonic abstractions led by the echoing haunts of tampered violins, an album of flourish and moments, a feel for past life nostalgia glitters over this modern and cutting edge production. In the way music is created to reproduce a feeling, and then is absorbed by a listener to reproduce a personal take on it, the feelings served up by Sieben grab that part of me which says, “Sit back, take your time, realise that the very moment is worth more than its passing, when focussed on”. This is the element of power within The Old Magic, that seems to draw me back into myself just a little bit, to find the truth of the momentary awareness which comprises the I am.
Organic reverbs mould the heart of what this album has to offer, its got real depth to its spirit and this makes it less important to continually glitter and shine like some kind of pop band, but more it prefers to linger on the edge of what we need and what we feel is happening next, always satisfying our expectations with fascinating twists.
True power in the real to life recordings of Matt Howden's vocal delivery at the ending of the penultimate track, named “A Hart for St Hubertus”, seem to catch me and sit me down in a new chair.“The Other Side of the River” arrives and the mix of melody and rhythm makes it like the river itself, voice literally washing the surface in places, and happenings all over the focus makes it difficult to clarify but awesome to be swept up by, so just let it happen.
Rowan Blair Colver