"There’s a small but prolific minimalist / experimental scene in Ireland. And it is a proper scene – though the gigs are small, they’ve a dedicated following and regular releases.
Paddy Kiernan, of Dublin’s Eyesclosed, now joins the chin stroking fray with this long demo of ambient movements largely made up of drums, bass and feedback.
Surprisingly, it’s listenable. Tinkling on the ride cymbal with the occasional snare and splash, it feels meditative and considered in a way that shows some thought has gone into it – even if it is improvisational in parts.
To put it more simply it’s like Earth’s more digressive moments coupled with a bit of Talk Talk from around Spirit Of Eden, and with a bit of Captain Beefheart’s less frantic atmos added. There are no lyrics or vocals of course, but the open mic’d guitar has that tone.
There’s a bit of texturing going on as well, similar to what you might expect from Murcof – the recording of simple room noise adding even more unresolved tension to it.
Is it music? Well, it’s more mood. Yes there are passages, but they’re so lugubriuos as to be hard to grab on to. Yet it’s immersive, that’s for sure, and may even make for a compelling live experience.
Review from Raised By Gypsies (http://raisedbygypsies.blogspot.com):
"If you don’t consider music to be a form of art then you’re a damn fool. I often compare music, as an art form, with other works of art, most noted of them being movies. When I listen to “In Defence of Envy” though, I reminded more of the typical art you think of such as a painting.
One kind of art- in terms of painting- that I have always been appreciative of, as a painter myself, is the type of painting that you look at and say, “I could have painted that”. I do enjoy things such as abstract art, but when I see something that just looks so simple and feels like I could have done it had I the inspiration first, that just somehow hits me even harder.
With The Corded Ware, I hear these songs of great cymbals crashing and the long drone hum of the guitar, and I can’t help but think how nicely it all fits together, yet also it seems like something that I could easily make myself. I hear bits and pieces, get arrogant and think, “Yeah, I could easily replicate this in Garage Band myself”. But that is where I am proven wrong.
And it’s not even that I’m a horrible musician. While other kids wasted their time in school learning about things like math and English that seemed to come naturally to me, I was studying music on so many different levels. It seems like I should be able to recreate this as easily as I could do a counterfeit painting.
But alas, there is an experimental sound trapped over noise here which just builds as the movement goes on and can only make you hang your head in shame and say, “I thought I could, but I couldn’t”. It is the self-defeat of every single kid who thought they’d be famous because, hey, the Sex Pistols couldn’t play their instruments either (which was never entirely true)
“In Defence of Envy” is a well laid out cassette and it is deliberate in its delivery. And though it might put you on your high horse, you will only be knocked off quickly because The Corded Ware is in fact so good at this that this cassette just makes it look so easy (keyword there being “look”)"