Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2018 No. 6
Daniel Blumberg's new album Minus. Available here on Rough Trade Exclusive Transparent LP with Special AOTY Bonus CD of a previously unreleased studio album Liv.
Special RT AOTY 12" Liv, a previously unreleased studio album from Blumberg, available here
Rough Trade exclusive with Bonus CD. It features seven solos, one by each artist who played on Minus: Daniel Blumberg, Terry Day, Ute Kanngiesser, Billy Steiger, Tom Wheatley, Jim White and Seymour Wright. Daniel Blumberg’s Minus is an astonishing work; one that weds an improvisational, free-music ethos to the rawest emotional songwriting, rooted deep in the personal turmoil Blumberg experienced whilst making the record. Minus is an album about breakdowns: relationship breakdowns, mental and physical breakdowns, breakdowns in communication, and the breaking down of received methods and practices. And situated at the broken-down heart of the record lies a pathological preoccupation with a breakdown of trust. But out of all this, and through the arteries of the album’s seven tracks, pulses a sense of growing fortitude and an almost mantra-like effort to create a way back into the world. Key refrains sound like the fevered incantations of a soul willing itself to recover, to find its voice again, and to resurrect the broken-down self.
Still only 27 years old, Blumberg has written himself a rich musical history; from his teenage band who signed to XL whilst he was still at school, onto and through the projects of Yuck, Oupa and Hebronix, whilst solidifying close creative partnerships with the likes of David Berman (Silver Jews), Low, Lambchop and Royal Trux’s Neil Michael Hagerty (with whom Blumberg has performed as a member of the Howling Hex). With Minus, though, there is a sense that Daniel Blumberg has finally arrived at the place he has been searching for.
Minus pulls the listener into the deep and nuanced reaches of the human soul and proceeds to drag them through all its fractured ventricles. Although the album’s approach can be traced back to improvised avant-garde experimentation, the overriding impact for the listener is Blumberg’s remarkable songwriting, and his natural talent for melody and composition. Minus stands as an arresting and progressive work, one which is set to establish Daniel Blumberg as one of Britain’s most unique contemporary voices.
LP+ - Rough Trade Exclusive. Limited Version on Transparent Vinyl with Download and Bonus CD.
LP - Black Vinyl with Download and Bonus CD.
2CD - CD Housed in Eco Pac Sleeve with Bonus CD.