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Jan Dukes De Grey - Mice and Rats in the Loft CD (album) cover


Jan Dukes De Grey


Prog Folk

4.21 | 243 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is an album that I've wanted to review for a while now. It's been difficult, because this album has a unique sound and scope. Let me try to characterize this.

First of all, let's talk about genre. Jan Dukes De Grey is currently categorized as Prog Folk. I suppose that's as good a category as any for them to end up in. They have a sparse, deceptively simple sound with a bias towards acoustic instruments. They feature a throbbing percussion sound that could be described as tribal. The songs rework themes that belong to folk (much in the same way that Led Zeppelin did with Gallows Pole.) So Prog Folk is as good a place to put them as any, yet there are clearly other influences at work here. With two talented multi-instrumentalists who are happy to add an instrument here and there as they see fit, there is a certain affinity with eclectic prog. And there is a very strong relationship with psychedelic here, in the concentration on atmosphere and effect and in the raw emotional power of the songs.

Now let me try to describe the character of the music on this album. We are definitely in the realm of prog folk, but it is a very different type of prog folk from what The Pentangle or Fairport Convention played. Despite the impressive number of instruments these guys play, the music has a stripped down sound to it. There isn't as much of an ensemble sound as you would expect, especially once Sun Symphonica is done. The sonic pallette is rich on this album, but it is used sparsely. More sparsely the more you get into it. The last track is stripped to guitar, vocals and percussion for large portions of it.

I mentioned atmosphere earlier. This album has a very raw and primal atmosphere. From the throbbing drums to the sparse sound to the vaguely menacing vocals to the dark lyrics that hint at human sacrifice, execution and such things, the album is drenched in a dark energy that seduces the listener.

Words can only describe so much. Jan Dukes De Grey has acheived a unique and interesting sound here on this album, and it has to be heard to be comprehended.

So four stars for Mice And Rats In The Loft. If I were judging just on adventuresomeness and originality, it would be five stars.

ghost_of_morphy | 4/5 |


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