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Marcus Hamblett – Detritus

WILLKOMMEN025 | Released 15th November 2017 | Preorder on Bandcamp | Preorder on iTunes | Presave on Spotify | Preorder from Resident

You may well have already watched or listened to Marcus Hamblett without knowing it. A highly sought-after session player, collaborator and enabler, Hamblett’s CV boasts a multitude of projects with high profile acts including Villagers, James Holden, Laura Marling, This Is The Kit and more.

Despite an understated release, Hamblett’s 2015 debut LP Concrete garnered critical acclaim wherever it was heard; not least by The National and Beirut collaborative side project LNZNDRF, as well as Timber Timbre, both of whom subsequently invited Hamblett to join them on tour. Effortlessly braiding free improvisation with careful arrangement in a manner redolent of Gastr Del Sol, Tortoise and Six Organs Of Admittance, it also received a glowing reception at the venerable BBC Radio 3 show Late Junction, who keenly invited Hamblett to collaborate with modular synthesiser pioneer James Holden and drummer Mark Holub (founding member of Mercury Prize nominated avant-jazz outfit Led Bib) in a special session at London’s Maida Vale Studios. Testament to an emerging pattern, it wasn’t long before Holden invited him to become a bona fide member of his band, The Animal Spirits, touring extensively across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.

Hamblett has since gone from strength to strength, steadily building an arsenal of collaborators-in-waiting and loading a heavy cannon of vibrant and groundbreaking ideas, which now see daylight in the form of sophomore album Detritus via Willkommen Records, the now-established label arm of the cult Willkommen Collective, that Hamblett himself co-founded. Six tracks of genre-bending adventure, Detritus boasts a predictably stellar array of talent, including This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables and The Animal Spirits’ saxophonist Etienne Jaumet (also of French electro duo Zombie Zombie); not to mention James Holden himself and even celebrated bass saxophonist Colin Stetson, whose unmistakable tones have shaped records by Tom Waits, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire and many more.

From the unassuming opening of Lost At Sea, where drones, guitars and drums creep in from behind ambient studio chatter to settle into a groove that will spellbind fans of Can, Stereolab and Aphex Twin alike; to the contemplative guitar workings of two-part epic The Warren, a worthy contribution to the lexicon of avant-garde guitar composition in the line of icons like Jim O’Rourke and Loren Connors, Detritus grabs the listener firmly but gently, refusing to let go until its tour of the inside of Hamblett’s fascinating and unique mind is complete.