It's a well-known fact that artist/orchestra collaborations have about a fifty-fifty shot at success; too often the former can't resist the temptation of over-elaboration offered by the latter. For Fink - AKA Fin Greenall - we're pleased to say that here quite the reverse has ended up being true. Brought up in the West Country but via University of Leeds, Fink is one of the original pioneers of 'intelligent' dance music which began in the early nineties. A career spanning two decades has seen a distinct refinement of his sound into something profoundly earthly, his smoke dripping vocals and world weary acoustics leaving the narrow horizons of laptronica a world behind.
When offered the chance to work with Holland's revered Royal Concertbebouw Orchestra, it seemed like an opportunity to take the introspection that had flecked 2011's 'Perfect Darkness' album and broaden its spectrum; part concert, part multimedia event, the evening's work is captured here on something as humble as the good old CD.
In format, the evening wasn't solely Fink's, with half a dozen of his own songs (arranged by Jules Buckley of the Heritage Orchestra) accompanied by two pieces from the Dutch collective themselves, along with a versioning of Henry Purcell's 'What Power Art Thou'. Whilst it might seem a little churlish to describe them as instrumentals, those pieces on which Greenall is absent are much more for the purist; 'The Infernal Machine' spiralling into quiet/loud phases alive with menace and crescendo, whilst 'The Unanswered Question' is more indebted to richer atmospherics and a sultry mood.
Continue reading: Fink - Fink Meets The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Live Album Review
David Hemery, Lord Sebastian Coe, Lord Stanley Fink, Matthew Patten CEO The Mayors Fund For London and Team GB Athletes - The Launch of Team GB 2012 Glory Moments Exhibition at City Hall - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 9th July 2013
Fin 'Fink' Greenall is signed to Ninja Tune, used to be a trip-hop DJ, and now crafts quavering guitar-based music, which means that all critics are mandatorily required to refer his music as 'folktronica'. Between you and me, this is a little misleading: his songs owe little to electronica, aside from the odd synthesised swish or functional, unobtrusive beat. Greenall's principal influences seem, rather, to be unadulterated folkies, the old school dreamy strummers rather than the beat-generating machine-melded new school. Those bearded reference points, all of them aged in oak casks and one hundred percent organic, include Nick Drake and, most obviously, John Martyn circa the wonderful 'Solid Air'. Martyn's rolling, blues-inflected vocals, at once dark and soothing, his drifting, circling guitar, and his fusing of blues and English folk are faithfully replicated throughout Perfect Darkness (although Greenall finds no room for piano or saxophone). It's a good replica, and if you're not familiar with the songs which have inspired Fink this album might sound revelatory, but if you've spent time with his influences you're more likely to sigh at the over-familiarity of the musical ground being covered.
Continue reading: Fink, Perfect Darkness Album Review