Roe Enney – ‘Glare’ (Root Strata, 2017)

It was inevitable that, whilst many artists have readily embraced new developments in affordable, user-friendly home recording software, others have found the results sounding rather homogenised.  Thus, anything that bucks the trend can stand out a country mile.  Roe Enney’s 2017 album, to my ears, sounds, fantastically, like it could’ve been made in the early 80’s, live to tape.  The tracks here – I hesitate to call them songs – are saturated in rogue tape hiss – raw, lo-fi and in places, deliciously slack, almost like demos.  There’s been no perceptible attempt to plane down the edges or let in a chink of light.  Likewise, the instrumentation comprises skeletal, rudimentary drum-machine, bass and the occasional obtuse melody jabbed out on a keyboard. 

Enney’s palette may be frugal but there’s much to be subtracted from these subterranean sketches.  On the album’s closer, ‘Ouroboros,’ from the bottom of a reverberant well of her own construction, Enney intones, “I tasted honey on my pocket comb.. ” as if recounting a dream under hypnosis.  She never really leaves this fogscape throughout the album – Grouper is the most obvious comparison in this – preferring to emote spectrally, somewhere just out of reach.  

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