I Am All Your Own
Ilyas Ahmed, previously featured on Immune Recordings, returns with a wholly remarkable set of alt-folk recordings in the circumscribed post-rock vein of Bark Psychosis Graham Sutton, mixed with Matt Christensen of Zelienople’s pointilism-with-out-pointlessness refrain. The set, running to a reliable 45 minutes or so, rivets through the crevices of swelled acoustic guitar celluloid. At the same time, the notes takes pictures when woven into chords that can be incredibly satisfying, in a rustic and reflective manner.
The main thing that drew me to this album again and again is its instrumental virtuosity. Yet it manages to become something beyond muso-oso. That is, lots of recordings are focused on playing so well, they losetheir spark. This isn’t the case here, however, as Ahmed muses gently and emotively in a mirroring of his own personality it would seem. This seeming honesty in the songs is what gives the record its soul. And if this was a play on persona, he’s done that well also. “The Last Laugh” is a fitting example, encapsulating fleeting, suspicious glances that tag in emotions of longing mixed with appraisal of the self. That idea, anyway – the last laugh, it might seem a bit Alan Partridge of the “Bouncing Back” paperback he wrote to appraise his own career in the spoof TV series Knowing Me Knowing You – in amusical tales of similar merit. But it is sensed Ilyas Amhed, whatever context you line up his tracks against, isn’t trying to win your approval, or be self-righteously bragging. Instead, these songs are about a soft melting heart that fits perfectly on the Immune imprint, having released Fluid-reviewed material by renowned artists like Expo70, of similar psychedelic, richly-hewn ilk.
I particularly like the crimson-deep emotionality of it all. There is a lot of similar music out there to “I Am All Your Own LP” but what sets this album apart is its potency for the right moment, the correct standpoint on a fragile pinnacle. It’s full of lateral melodic thinking that dovetails the edge of greatness and sidesteps the traps of triteness. In basic terms, it’s perfectly measured as a thought-through collection of tracks. It takes the root spice of persona and maps it onto melodic contours that don’t collapse at the fifteenth hurdle. That’s something for a folk precipice in this day; age.