The Dragon Flies Away


LP version. Blue vinyl; Gatefold sleeve with lyric insert and download card; Edition of 300. Bamboo, the ongoing project from Nick Carlisle (Peepholes, Don't Argue) and Rachel Horwood (Trash Kit, Halo Halo) present their second studio album, The Dragon Flies Away. Far from being a side-project, Bamboo is very much a fully realized pursuit, with the band working on multiple records simultaneously from their Brighton and London base camps. Initially released on Crumb Cabin in a limited run of 50 cassettes in the winter 2016, with an accompanying zine designed by Horwood, The Dragon Flies Away tells a story loosely associated with the Hannya demon mask of Noh theatre plays such as Dojoji, and reflects the range of emotion the Hannya mask is capable of displaying: obsession, jealousy, sorrow, and rage. The Dragon Flies Away presents its story in two acts. Vivid and deeply poignant, Bamboo's music locks into a magnetic attraction between Horwood's flawlessly resonant folk cadence and Carlisle's pristine synth production. "Hannya" opens the album in a reflective mood with Rachel's mournful vocal and echoing banjo that gets swept up by flourishes of percussion and synth-flute vistas. "Always Running" follows, living up to its name with its propulsive beat and plucked rhythm, building to a chase for Rachel's dramatic vocal turn. "Like A Sparrow" is a beautifully realized track sounding as vulnerable and vociferous as a Kate Bush song. "Wake Up Your Heart" delights in pools of pitch-shifted melody and primal vision. Whilst the final two tracks on the album embrace Carlisle's cascading synth lines as pure as ice flows, augmented gong passages and fragile yet impassioned vocalizations. Overall the album feels film-like, with an ability to hold the listeners hand and lead them through another world. It's ambitious and heavy on concept without ever becoming overwrought, preserving its delicate personal tone and lush, spacious sound throughout. During the writing and subsequent release of their debut album, Prince Pansori Priestess, (UTR 075CD/LP, 2015), The Dragon Flies Away was recorded between Spring 2015 and Summer 2016.