If clouds had front porches, this is the kind of music they would play on them as they stared down meandering over serene countrysides and cities that look still given enough space.
Padang Food Tigers is a London duo (and not what I assume is a Southeast Asian crime syndicate running the food cart racket in Jakarta) comprised of Stephen Lewis and Spencer Grady who used to play in a band called Ramses III. Lewis and Spencer trade between the banjo, acoustic guitar, piano, culled strings and various household instruments/children’s toys to create aural slices of fragmented memory. Lewis and Grady’s sparse and hushed compositions would be evocative and nostalgic enough on their own. But no, Padang Food Tigers have to go straight for the gut by filling up ample pregnant pauses with field recordings of falling rain, wind through the trees, church bells, children laughing, thunderstorms, city sounds, chirping birds and all sorts of sounds that I associate with the Northern Hemisphere that I miss so much sometimes. Like walking through snow. Damn you, Padang Food Tigers.
Songs on Ready Country Nimbus are short stabs of focused nostalgia that consist of beautifully composed and improvised songs that amble through a shoe box full of photographic memories. Only a few songs fall into drone-folk territory. Most of Ready Country Nimbus is played relatively straight forward. A gossamer piano line wrapping its smoke fingers around a ruddy (yet lovely) banjo or acoustic guitar while sounds from the civilized and uncivilized world live out its life underneath, completely oblivious to its being recorded.
I like field recordings (I have been doing quite a bit of it myself here in Swaziland) because it makes an artifact out of something that never had any intention of being so. There is no real inherent beauty of heels walking down a marble hallway. But when these natural sounds are taken out of their context and embedded with all sorts of meaning suggested by the composition, then they become something more than a faceless, spaceless snippet of sound. They sound incredibly comforting and near. A familiar sound in a nighttime world of unfamiliar sounds like that weird chainsaw sound cows can make and Jerhico Night Vigils that sound like Death Metal grunts and growls minus the music.
That paragraph went from college freshman essay to diary entry. Yikes.
I guess what I am trying to say is thanks. This album has been a balm. Bathetic Records can seemingly do no wrong. The packaging is amazing and completely worth the small moneys you would have to cough up to own this thing on wax.