ML Buch Suntub

Label
15 Love
Released
20th April 2024

Format Info

2LP - Black Vinyl

It’s hard to overstate the clamour for ML Buch’s music at the moment. The Copenhagen-based musician began releasing music back in 2017, humble guitar compositions with Buch’s arresting, lamenting vocal used sparsely and for lovely affect. On Suntub, Buch’s music has developed into a jaw-dropping, glacial beauty taking in anything from Red House Painters’ held notes over plaintive  guitar figures to submerged, processed synth and guitar productions warping in and out of phase like Actress or AFX jamming with a sad guitarist.

Suntub is a really classic album, a whole double album of minimalist heart breakers, awash with Buch’s imagery of escape, sailing into the open, colours rich with life and wonder melting together into a whirring, emotional kaleidoscope. On Flames shards goo, the production delights in chiming guitars and chorus FX on baritones with Buch’s vocal soaring and open. Buch’s instrumentals act as segues between vignettes, experiments in ambient and 80s Drum Machines, all suffuse with beautiful, expansive chord changes. It’s times like this, specially with Buch’s virtuoso guitar work chiming and droning on the base notes that we’re reminded of Maurice Deebank’s guitar on Felt’s era-defining mid-period. Yet on Fleshless hand, the dynamic reminds almost of 90s post-rock slow core groups, specially with Buch’s effortlessly bewitching voice work, if it was recorded by and released on ECM in 1986. Her solo guitar pieces even remind us a little of Jeff Parker’s solo work, or the abstract, spacious forays by his group Tortoise.

Personally speaking, I’ve been panting for a physical release of Buch’s work for years. It’s a music that might have gained popularity online, informed by digital tones and technology in a lot of places, but there’s something warm and close about ML Buch’s melodic and harmonic work that deserves to be heard in space, with people, on an artefact. Buch’s recent tour sold out everywhere, her Glasgow at The Flying Duck completely rammed, 100s of people totally silent for this really special music. It really felt like a group therapy session, 100s of hearts beating to this music that, I’m guessing really helped them through lockdown, when I became aware of Buch’s early work. Her presence was both totally warm and aloof. Bathed in the ersatz sunglow of the venue lights, I remember watching the beams bounce off the chrome of her guitar and thinking this feels like more than music, which of course all the best music does.

Suntub is now available to pre-order on vinyl. It’s sold out at source.

Michael

‘Suntub’ is the second full length album from ML Buch, a double record of 15 pieces by the Danish composer and producer, entering further into the realm of electric guitars and layered vocals along with exploring new instrumental expressions.

With an offset in open tunings on a 7-string Stratocaster, slide and fretless tablet guitars and deep-sampled virtual guitars, the album draws up narratives and locations in a distant time. Props like puddles, well buckets, bone barrels and flesh rags live in these scenes, suspended in air, drifting about, climbing stairs and ladders, all given life through guitar sensibilities and visceral vocals.