This Friday (9th December) sees the release of the newest record by James Edge And The Mindstep via Slanting Mounted Head Records. Machines He Made is an electrifying 11 track album which is smothered in plenty of folk goodness. Raised in Kent, Page studied composition to master’s degree level under Joe Duddell – arranger for the likes of Elbow and New Order. After moving to London and starting to gig in 2006, he formed James Edge and the Mindstep to record 2010 debut album In The Hills, The Cities. This trio consisted Edge, double bassist Andy Waterworth and drummer Avvon Chambers materialised. Together the trio started recording second album Machines He Made over a five day period tracking everything live and only overdubbing the backing vocals.
I’ve been lucky to preview this LP before the official release date. The sophomore Machines He Made greatly impressed me, James Page’s vocal tones were silky smooth brimming with plenty of folk vibes and then each track featured left me utterly entranced.
Opening up this luscious LP you had the delightful Jacob. I literally adored the instrumentation of this number, the constant finger plucking put me at ease and the use of strings left me hypnotised. Then you also had James’s breathtaking vocal tones which were smooth like butter. This short song was crafted to perfection leaving me completely captivated at the same time. Ammonites was a sleek cut brimming with plenty of folk goodness. Edge’s vocals were rather rich and this was a cut that left me utterly enchanted. Ammonites is one of Edge’s rawer and more conventional songs. I found A Room to be rather chilled out aided by James’s light vocal tones. On A Red Horse also featured on the EP which shares the same name. This whimsical number was a piece of pure perfection, Edge’s vocals were spot on and the combination of different instruments gave it that edgy feel. Four Two Four was folk through and through. The lyrics were memorable and the vocals left me in a dream like state. This tune was extremely beautiful and at the same time it left me tapping my toe. Cryptid was relaxing and Edge’s soft like butter vocals sent shivers down my spine. Jovial was a slick slow paced number along with spectacular lyrics which left me in a complete daze. In The Hills was a majestical song which had been well crafted. The mesmerising lyrics left me hooked, the vocals resonated plenty of laid back vibes and the instrumentation left me spellbound. Opening up with strings followed by some frantic finger plucking you had the upbeat Strange And Charm. Whilst I adored this whole LP, this song for me had to be the stand out. The whole instrumentation hit me like a ton of bricks and the vocals were ever so exquisite. Widdershins packed a punch plus it was brimming with wild and restless energy. Things then come to a close with the spine tingling Jaysteps.
On A Red Horse
Four Two Four
In The Hills
Strange and Charm
Machines He Made is available to purchase over at Bandcamp