World Fair : entropy edition
“A peerless masterpiece” Top 10 albums of the year
“World Fair is a devastatingly beautiful release from a much under-appreciated group… At the hands of Human Greed obliteration has never sounded so enticing”
“Masterly, and sometimes creepy as hell”
Top 10 albums of the year, Dark Entries (Belgium)
“If you have not heard this yet, rectify that situation immediately”
Brainwashed Readers Poll (USA)
“The brilliance of Human Greed has been quietly hidden in the music underground for a few years now and getting brighter all the time. This year they delivered their finest album yet, a dark swoon from the cold hills, a bedtime story for lost adults everywhere.”
Was Ist Das, Album of the Year (UK)
“A strong and provocative album… kaleidoscopically rich in sonic colour. It’s especially notable for the deftness with which it blends centuries-old songcraft with modern electronic production treatments and sounds.”
“World Fair, charged by both the music of faith and science, is perhaps the most sublimely saddest of all their work to date”
“”World Fair” is an incredible achievement… Human Greed are criminally undervalued; Begg is one of our most significant contemporary experimental composers. The scale that he has imagined and created with “World Fair” is testament to this. It is a masterwork”
The Active Listener (UK)
“An excellent release”
Vital Weekly (Netherlands)
Michael Begg: This is my 5th record as Human Greed, 7th if you include the non-ensemble pieces Dirt on Earth and the OMEGA soundtrack I released last year for Moscow’s blackSKYwhite theatre company. This one has been cooking for two years and has seen me attempt to up my game with regards to formal musical theory and composition. There is a lot going on in there and I don’t know how to begin marking out its foundations for you. Possibly best just to remain relatively quiet on the matter and hope it can speak for itself over a few listens. However, the songcraft has its roots partly in the 16th century – from where also arises the preoccupation with melancholy and mortality- and there is much to be owed to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, the singularity and heat death of the observable universe. That is all touched upon lightly, though I was keen to explore the potential for that science to be represented in a devotional mode more associated with faith.
The ensemble this time is notable particularly for the number of voices that come into the recording. This, in itself, is unusual for someone like me so closely associated with ambient drifts and drones.
So, aside from my long time partner, Deryk Thomas, Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry) gives a stylish reading of a traditional Scottish folk song, Scottish Jazz institution Sophie Bancroft joins the fold (I worked with her in the late 1990s running music and memory recovery workshops in dementia wards) and Sukie Smith from London’s Madam is also here. Nicole M. Boitos, sleeve artist for Swans, and James Blackstock, as well as my own Fortress Longing album shows that she, too, can hold a note. And I love her spoken word reading of the central World Far text on Waiting In A Car.
Colin Potter (Nurse With Wound, Monos) being a long time collaborator both through Fovea Hex and Fragile Pitches is once again on hand to contribute to the treatments and I am so thrilled to have worked with Steven R. Smith (Ulaan Khol, Hala Strana) on a composition called Chrysler. Steven’s work always, to me, sounds like an advancing desert storm and my vision of such a storm tearing down a city really came to life here. The sound of his home made spike fiddle! Wow!
Two gifted kids from the village helped out on the strings, and Pietro Riperbelli allowed me to plunder his archive of field recordings of cathedral interiors.