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1 June 2011

Tom Ravenscroft’s music blog

Dreamy, haunted, but strangely comforting - welcome to the world of The Caretaker.

By Tom Ravenscroft

I have managed to get myself stuck in a dreamy, haunted but strangely comforting alternative world and it is going to take something rather epic to persuade me to leave.

This happened the last time The Caretaker released an album – Persistent Repetition Of Phrases – two years ago. If I remember rightly my mum ended up having to get the train to London to shake me back into reality so that I’d return to work.

THE CARETAKER – von restorff effect by leylandkirby  

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James Kirby, as he is otherwise known, is I suspect a rather clever fellow; his studies of music’s ability to trigger memories have consistently produced noises I can’t imagine I will ever forget.

The new album, An Empty Bliss Beyond This Will, like the last, refuses to allow you to walk out of that ballroom in Kubrick’s The Shining. The distant sounds of scratched old 78’s and the sense of wandering through dishevelled corridors and down grand old abandoned staircases makes me strangely nostalgic. It makes me pine for a time and place that would not only be terrifying but exceptionally lonely. It is incredibly beautiful, though – so much so that fear of those two things alone wouldn’t be enough to make me leave.

Tom Ravenscroft’s radio show is on BBC 6 Music every Friday at 9pm. He writes a monthly column for the New Statesman magazine