B. Lone Engines - Albion Geared

B. Lone Engines are a duo - Spider and Ant Blone - from Reading.  Their deliciously unorthodox post-Krautrock experi-mentalisms first came to my attention via their debut album (on Dark Meadows Recordings).  When that label shut up shop before releasing the duo's second album I jumped at the chance (the plan had been for their third to be on Quiet World).

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Large stack of great CDRs from the UK label Quiet World which arrived 17th September 2013. Argh…I am always too late with publishing reviews for these highly-limited pressings, which means by time you read about them, they are likely to be sold out at source. Here’s one great piece of UK experimentalism called Albion Geared (QUIET WORLD THIRTY-TWO) performed by B. Lone Engines, which are the twosome Spider and Ant Blone who come from Reading. The great thing about Spider is he really is a spider, so able to use all eight limbs to perform on musical instruments in ways that puny humans cannot achieve. Ant Blone may or may not be distantly related to one of the many colonies that thrive in the Reading area, and he’s the kind of guy who gets what he wants through formic acid attacks. They previously had a release on the Northampton CDR label Dark Meadow Recordings, and Ian Holloway picked up their “contract” after that label bit the dust in 2012. On this fine album, I was grabbed by the opening track with its spiky and discordant guitar clashes fighting a steely battle of some ilk, but apart from one other instance of it, this turns out to be somewhat uncharacteristic of the whole; their specialism is turning in long and cold tracts of bleak, formless abstraction dronery, the interminable wasteland occasionally punctuated with perfectly-judged details of mysterious brushwork and sculpture, such as a tree painted by Sidney Nolan. This pair have an occluded sense of darkness brewing inside their collective stomachs, and their brand of minimal krautrock-noir is bound to appeal to any night-dwelling creature such as the badger or owl.
Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

Also unknown to me are the duo of Spider and Ant Blone, who go by the name B.Lone Engines - what in names, right? They had their debut on Dark Meadows Recordings, who also planned their second release, but closed down so now it appears on Quiet World, who call it 'unorthodox post-Krautrock experimentalisms'. Funny that the word krautrock also popped up with the Kostoglotov release, whereas the releases are quite different. It starts out with the very loud and short 'Tea Atom Three', but in the subsequent six pieces there is indeed a sense of experimentalism in these pieces which is perhaps not always krauty, but quite nice. It's perhaps all a bit more about improvising with lots of means, such as violins, guitars, electronics and synths, and the atmospheres here are more dark. Some of these pieces are a bit too long and could used some more editing, I think, and at times also a better recording. Nice throughout and would be interested to hear whatever next from them.
Vital Weekly


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