March 31, 2004

Angelmark "Angelmark"

Angelmark is the project of Canadian artist and musician Michael Turner, whose main project is a band called Titania. It's a bit odd to think of this as a different project, because the two bands are definitely cut from the same cloth. Where Titania relies on heavenly female vocals, Angelmark is strictly an instrumental affair, and these songs sound like--you guessed it--an instrumental version of Titania. It's okay, though, because the vocals really aren't the focus here--what's most important is the atmosphere of the record.

Instead, we're given an intimate taste of Michael Turner solo, alone. Angelmark's instrumental landscapes are as cold and as grey as the mental picture you might have of Canada, and all twelve of these songs never fail to invoke a chilled atmosphere. When Turner's primary instrument in the song is guitar (such as 'The Golden Mean') and it invokes Cocteau Twins' mastermind Robin Guthrie and occasionally Durutti Column's Vini Reilly. When the songs are more keyboard-based (such as "Brighter Days" and "Low & Slow") it's very similar to Brian Eno and Harold Budd. Turner varies the style quite nicely, creating a nice, steady atmosphere that never becomes dull.

Angelmark is a very pretty record, one that's perfect for those hazy evenings at home or those late nights when you cannot sleep. There's nothing more charming than simple beauty, and Angelmark is simply beautiful.

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