A truly despairing sound of joy.
Released: 6th May 2016
British Theatre was formed by Mike Vennart and Richard Ingram, both formerly of Oceansize and current Biffy Clyro touring members; and ‘Mastery’ sounds like a release, emotionally and recreationally. The album is full of uncertainty: an electronic soundscape delivering as both an upper and a downer in its own heady way.
A record of two halves, opener ‘Blue Horror’ steers you towards the groove of an off-beat fluoro optimism, continuing seamlessly through the first few tracks until the instrumental ‘The Coldest Of Shoulders’ turns the record into a darker place. ‘Newman’ is a hard listen but, like the rest of the album, the investment is part of the pay-off.
Taking elements of jungle and grit with a soulful voice, ‘Mastery’ is hard to pin down. But in all its confusion and struggle, the record is an original and transformational, positive disparity which longs for darkened corners. A truly despairing sound of joy. Giles Bidder