|What has to be the most encouraging
and beautiful debut released this year comes not from the bowels
of the musical hype-a-market, but from a pair of South London
recluses. "Whichever way you are going, you are going wrong"
is a selection of domestic recordings made over the last three
years: a period in which the brothers Clive and Mark Ives effectively
isolated themselves from the outside world. The result is a
thoroughly charming and unassuming album, albeit a little niave;
the thirteen tracks veering from compostions stamped with a
classical converatism to slowly unfolding improvistions which
boast a wealth of sensitive melodic detail.
There is nothing here to rankle or intimidate the senses:
the presiding mood of the music is seductive and relaxed as
guitar and clarinet smooch in an almost refined air with little
more than keyboards and some unobtrusive percussion for company.
In short, Woo are a testimony to the
fact that the self-indulgent can also be extremely accessible;
their refusal to court modern musical stylistics undoubtedly
a tonic to the ears. Seek out this album at your earliest