To be honest I'd already committed to featuring too much music this week when I came across A Knife Ballet, but his debut track 'Scattered Red, Blue & Black' is just so interesting and different, I just had to give it some coverage.
Behind A Knife Ballet is the composer and producer Jonathan Stolber, the former lead singer of art rock trio 'To Bury a Ghost' (you can still find them on Bandcamp), who more latterly released music under the name 'The Holy Road'. To be honest I simply hadn't come across his music until last night and it's pretty impressive and still relatively undiscovered.
In Scattered Red, Blue & Black he has support from some fabulous UK musicians such as Ben Wheedon (Maybeshewill), JJ Saddington (The Bridesmaid), Chris Fordham and Maddie Cutter, whilst the track was mixed by none other than Steve Durose, who we love for being in Oceansize as much as we do for his unexpected appearance on stage approximately 52 mins into the greatest gig in history - at The London Astoria in 2002 of course.
Anyway, Scattered Red, Blue & Black' delivers beauty and menace in equal quantities. There's an intensity in the music which will totally captivate you from the start, it's eerie, almost uncomfortable at times, yet there's moments of blissful elegance too, and the musical climaxes are somewhere between Mogwai and Mahler in scale - although I read somewhere he was influenced by Igor Stravinsky when young, which makes total sense too. The atmosphere created by the string arrangements is just sensational.
For unknown reasons I found myself wanting to listen to Major Parkinson's 'Heart Machine' straight after, another band of course who refuse to conform to normal musical boundaries, and deliver music on an almost inconceivable scale. A Knife Ballet are clearly aiming for something similar.
Anyway it is an utterly magnificent debut, and the fact that there's a whole album of music in the pipeline (entitled 'The Blood of England') quite simply means that 2024 should be a very good year.
Find A Knife Ballet on Instagram.