Coming a year to the day since Under The Sun graced us with its folkloric dawn, Mark Pritchard collects up a platter of unheard material and previously unreleased versions from the album to complete the deeply immersive 'Under The Sun Expanded Vol. 1' session.
While most post-album collections fill us with a sense of dread (let's be honest, other than The Smiths are any actually that good?) with an artist like Mark Pritchard, even extended sessions and off cuts are worth their weight in gold.
Opening with two long drawn out organic drones that form together to create one long meditation, instantly we are reminded of Mika Vainio's delicate 'Kotiin / To Home' and 'Heijastuva'. These pieces seemingly melt away into an acapella of Bibio's 'Give It Your Choir'. Catching us completely off guard, Bibio's vocal totally knocks things sideways, by removing the original's arrangements, Bibio's vocal floats in from somewhere above, echoing the original's library led arrangement with a spectral quality.
The middle of the section is taken up with three versions of Mark's collab with Radiohead don Thom Yorke, Beautiful People. Giving us the 'Shynola Forest Scene' 'Album Instrumental' and an 'A/V Version' each offers a different path back to the same rocky, alien landscape on which the original scene took place.
The final days start to drift in with the ambience of 'The Butterflies, Hi' before the highly valued 'Give It Your Choir Instrumental' rolls around, reflecting Mark's stunning cover of Balil's 3/4 Heart if it had been unearthed by Finders Keepers, a true modern day classic of far-flung folk.
Drawing things to a close with the electro-acoustic 'The Blinds Cage Instrumental' Mark moves Beans vocal out of the equation to create a truly startling piece that sort of reflects a glacial Radiophonic Workshop Def Jux record (imagine that!) before the absolute highlight of the package 'You Wash My Soul Instrumental' closes things on a haunted, wistful note.