Pram | WIG203 | Released: 29/09/07
The fourteen concise tracks on The Moving Frontier are Pram at their most confident and direct. Album opener The Empty Quarter alongside, Iske, Sundew, Metaluna are instrumental pieces steeped in a lurching starry -eyed wonder. They not only soundtrack but gently prompt and orchestrate a reflective daydream moment. On Salva singer Rosie Cuckston asks “Are you afraid of sugar, scared of salt?” as if in command of some secret transformative spell wherein the dust and spice of the everyday can become metaphysical. Similarly magical are the band’s instinctive and delicate arrangements. Beluga, like much of their music, sounds like a dance scene from some long lost animated folk tale. Mariana Deep is so blissful it almost demands a comedown in a meadow surrounded by clouds. Blind Tiger, like late 60s Sun Ra or Eddie Gale is informed by the need to make a spiritual journey by crossing the space desert with lots of percussion and Africa brass. The Silk Road concludes the trip with a stomping, clunky middle-eastern purpose. To say Pram have always ploughed their own furrow is to underestimate the breadth and scale of their music. To listen to this record is to hear a group who have learned to play together whilst teaching each other a new language. The Moving Frontier is Pram at their most widescreen, they’ve created a mysterious and wonderful landscape that’s sky-wide open.