Low Culture - Jim Moray


The young man who has turned English folk music on its ear is back to take us for a few more spins. Jim Moray has an incredible gift for shaking the dust of traditional melodies and turning them into gleaming works of art rock, but on his latest release, Low Culture he reminds us that there was never anything aristocratic or sophisticated about these tunes. The album graphics illustrate the point beautifully, depicting the package and each of its subsequent tracks as dog-eared covers of bawdy pulp fiction novels. It's a treat to leaf through and scope out the fine print (boy I miss 12 inch vinyl!). The lush, enveloping arrangements that we've come to associate with Moray's music has been toned down a bit, if only to emphasize beautiful new voices of border pipes, hurdy gurdy, cello, double bass and horns. His atmospheric guitar textures still soar and jangle (think Steve Hackett from Genesis) with accents of programming to keep the balance tilted toward modernity. He even gets into an urban flow with the help of MC Bubbz on the boundary-bending Lucy Wan. Low Culture delivers on the bold-typed promises that blaze from its tawdry titles; "Twisted affairs … forbidden thrills!" Key Tracks: I'll Go List for A Sailor, Rufford Park Poachers