Better Man

A 2 track downtempo ep (9m 40s) — released April 1st 2016 on Claremont 56

What happens when you take a track by a British power trio heavily influenced by blues and psychedelia, and get a master of wayward, left-of-centre Balearica to remix it? That's the premise behind Claremont 56's latest vinyl outing, which features Magic Feet Recordings boss Craig Bratley delivering a pair of druggy, spaced-out interpretations of "Better Man", one of the more laidback outings from fast-rising rock combo Bella Figura.

The trio, comprised of Justin Gartry, Mikey Cooper and Jack Morford, have gigged tirelessly since joining forces a few years back, enhancing their reputation via a series of self-released EPs notable for their heavy grooves, bluesy guitar arrangements and Gartry's gravelly, emotion-packed vocals. Even so, their work – as atmospheric as it is – has never sounded this cosmic.

Craig Bratley has previous in this regard. His solo releases for Is It Balearic, Bird Scarer and, most recently, Tsuba, tend towards the druggy, unusual and atmospheric, while his Magic Feet imprint has become renowned for its unique blends of slo-mo wonkiness and off-kilter, early morning Balearica.

He handles the poignant "Better Man" with great care, delivering vocal and instrumental interpretations doused in delay and reverb, with occasional bursts of white noise and deep space electronics enhancing the horizontal, smacked-out mood. There are notable beats – sparse, slow and dubbed out – but these are almost drowned out by Gartry's reverb-drenched guitars and Cooper's booming, pitched-down bassline. This is emotionally raw rock music dragged through a K-hole backwards, reappearing somewhere the other side of Jupiter. It's a trip worth taking.

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