Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Bairds of Gartsherrie by Phil Maguire

Bairds of Gartsherrie cover art

Artist: Phil Maguire
Title: Bairds of Gartsherrie
Catalogue Number: Beartown
Review Format: Cassette
Release Year: 2020

The day comes in every man’s life when he realises that he can fix cassette decks. With that spiritual awakening comes the realisation that he now needs some actual cassettes to make his life complete and, with no more than a cursory search through the cultural abyss that is Google, “Bairds of Gartsherrie” by Phil Maguire was duly purchased.

It would, of course, have been too easy to track down a Kylie album in cassette format and it would have been too easy to write about it too hence the choice of a genre strange and new to me. That genre is drone and, in Phil Maguire’s hands, all inspiration that might have been converted into music is instead turned into a synthetic monotone that, rather unexpectedly, reverberates into the grey realms of the hypnotic. The title of this album is all that you get as a clue to the contents and the two tracks contained therein don’t even get the dignity of a name and, naturally, there is no melody with what few tonal changes there are being little more than a breeze in the fog.

Despite this cassette containing two examples of musical minimalism, I didn’t regard the listening experience as being a particular struggle even if Phil Maguire’s soundscape seemed to more clearly represent the emptiness of modern day Coatbridge than its heyday under the patriarchal control of the real Bairds of Gartsherrie. Either way, grey is the colour.

Also available for download from Bandcamp.
Review Date: May 30 2022