When we first put Use And Ornament on the Prog hi-fi, our reviews editor said, “We could do with some more of this!” Henry Fool/I Monster man Jarrod Gosling’s love letter to prog is a Mellotron-moulded jazz-folk-pop beastie with more ideas stuffed into its nine tracks than Wikipedia on psilocybin.
Initially there’s a Soft Machine/Canterbury style about Apple Witch and Klara Till Slutet. But sandwiched in-and-around are suites Confessions From A Deep And Warm Hibernaculum and 10-part centerpiece 6:17pm – The Aunt Turns Into An Ant, taking giddying Crimson, Kafka and Lewis Carroll-like directions.
The virtuosic Gosling backs his tsunami of notions by playing most of the instruments here, aided by a roll call of distinctive guests from sax ace Mick Somerset-Ward to Essex singer-songwriter Kevin Pearce. At times the influence of soundtrack composers like Roy Budd or Ronnie Hazlehurst collide with Radiophonic Workshop experimentalism, but the Proustian familiarity guides you happily through another crazy sonic passage.
Gosling’s production, honed at his Sheffield studio, Pig View, is stunning. So hear, hear: more of this, please!