(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Soundtrack To Spleen , 6/10
Little Scratches , 6.5/10

Spleen is Rob Ellis, a veteran drummer of (among others) P.J. Harvey. His Soundtrack To Spleen (Swarf Finger, 1996), recorded over a span of four years, is musical theater that sets disquieting narratives to disquieting music. Ellis employs reeds and keyboards to score his soundtracks in a austere and improvised vein, halfway between expressionist cabaret and free jazz. That "chamber noir jazz" is equally inspired by God and Barry Adamson.

Drummer Lou Ciccotelli of Laika joins the ranks for the EP Like A Watermelon (Swarf Finger, 1997), an album that tosses a little funk and dub in the soup. The music benefits from the more propulsive approach, and Spleen resurrects the spectre of Rip Rig & Panic.

Little Scratches (Swarf Finger, 1998) assembles a number of star-studded line-ups and therefore recalls the praxis of another drummer, Anton Fier, with his Golden Palominos. While Ellis lacks the sophistication, not to mention the technological know-how, to match his American counterpart, Spleen achieve a similar blend of contemporary styles in a similar modernist and neurotic manner.

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