CDR: Housepig hpig-006 [2006]
Ltd x 150

To Mock A Killing Bird
There Are Dragonflies At Dawn
Distant Dissonance Disappearing
Awaking From Someone Else’s Dream

Michael Page and I have a history. You see when I started reviewing for AP he sent in a Fire in the Head release which I duly got to write up. This recording ‘Ignite / Submit’ [read review here] got my seal of approval (as has all the subsequent releases submitted for review) but how I wished that he could break the shackles of his own noise repertoire just the once. Much as I admired (still do in fact) his stubborn streak to non-conform I felt there was more to him than just a seemingly one trick pony - and with Sky Burial he’s at last managed to allay my fears. He will of course totally disagree with what I’ve just written - but like I said at the start - we do have a history between us. Although he will probably say otherwise.

Got to mention this first. Sky Burial is very limited. Only 150 copies. I’ve checked the Housepig website and stocks are low, low, low. This record label which is based in Minneapolis has gone way up in my estimation in a very short space of time considering they‘ve only been around since 2004. ‘The "Six Doors" compilation was a joy to listen to [read review here]... and as for the Unicorn release… be prepared to be amazed [read review here]. For Sky Burial they have packed the release inside a hand stitched cloth bag with accompanying paper insert which adds a bit of flair to an already magical recording. Magical? From Michael Page?

Forget about FITH. At least for the moment. Sky Burial ventures into hitherto uncharted areas and is so far removed from FITH that you wouldn’t think they were the one and same person. Just as the grandmaster Merzbow has spread his wings occasionally and diversified so to has Michael. For here he incorporates an experimental post Industrial stance over the diverse and highly satisfying six tracks. On the one instance he comes across as a sludge rock feedback looped drenched maniac and within a whisper he’s hitting the drone highway of intense musical excellence. Throw in the odd bit of sound manipulation, add some scattered angelic voices, veer away into the sort of ambience that would make Brian Lustmord blush, then just for good measure bung in swathes of swirling organics for afters and this is what Sky Burial sounds like. Seriously… this is a delirious mixed bag of music that reminds me of the type of music that only us Brits were renowned for or even capable of creating. It positively soars on high on a wave of euphoria that’s increasingly infectious. Sure he chances his arm sonically occasionally, all expert musicians do, but he gets away with it because of his meticulous attention to detail and eye for what constitutes great imaginative music.

This of course all sounds terrific. And without doubt it is. In fact I sincerely hope that this won’t be the last time that Michael Page attempts this form of diversity. Much as I enjoy FITH he has excelled himself with Sky Burial. A fabulous and quite frankly sublime release that unfortunately many of you will never have the chance to experience. With only 150 copies available this was always going to be the case. Sometimes life does suck to the nth degree. Although Housepig could easily redeem this situation by re-releasing it in a standard CD case sometime in the near future. What about it Mr Henson?


[Sky Burial] / [Housepig]

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Other Reviews:

Sky Burial: [Spectrehorse]

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