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Sometimes an album title is chosen at the last minute or for no other reason than it sounds good. Sometimes an album is just an assemblage of unrelated tracks and the title is meant to give form to a body of work that doesn’t really have any. Sometimes the title comes to its creator in a stoned dream. Sometimes it’s found written on the back of a pub toilet door. Grasscut don’t work like that. Main writer Andrew Phillips doesn’t say or do anything without it meaning something. So in using the slightly old fashioned (but highly accurate) map scale of “1 Inch / ½ Mile” you can be sure he’s trying to tell us something.
“1 Inch / ½ Mile” maps the route of a transcendental journey across a real landscape, centering on the Sussex South Downs of “High Down,” but taking in frozen mountains in North Wales (“Meltwater”), a man with a metal walking stick in a park in Brighton (“The Tin Man”), his mother’s memories of post-war rationing (“1946”) to the slightly more metaphorical Nintendo Cathedral of “Muppet” and Hilaire Belloc riding a winged horse across the nation. Weaving in between the lead vocal are voices from the past and the present, snatched from mobile phones & gramophones - a 1920s tenor, gossiping mums, land developers and the aforementioned Victorian singing poet. It’s a remarkable achievement – an evocation of a place and time where the countryside meets technology, a kind of interzone between the past and the future, and a journey through it that’s often funny, often moving, technically brilliant but never anything other than catchy and memorable.
Grasscut are Andrew Phillips and Marcus O’Dair. Phillips is an award-winning film and television composer with over one hundred screen credits; O'Dair is a double bassist and keyboards player. The pair made their live debut at the Loop Festival (Fourtet, Caribou, Holy Fuck) in August 2008, and have since performed at Tate Britain, the ICA, the Union Chapel and Koko, as well as opening the main stage at The Big Chill 2009. They have shared stages with Plaid, Clark, Luke Vibert, Tim Exile, Nathan Fake, Daedelus and Anti-Pop Consortium, and remixed the likes of Bonobo and Jaga Jazzist and been remixed by Nathan Fake and Bibio. They have been played on BBC Radio 1, 2 and 3 aswell as performing sessions on XFM and 6 Music, DJ fans include Rob Da Bank and Tom Robinson. This is their first album together.
Release/catalogue number: ZENDNL148
Release date: Jun 21, 2010