This is some great electronica, available as a limited 7″ single now, with a full eponymously-titled album following on March 10 on Blow Up Records. Baltic Fleet is the pen name of Paul Fleming, who has recently being playing live with Echo & The Bunnymen. As has been noted in other reviews, the tracks carry a real sense of travel with them; leftover vibes from writing a record on tour. This method can produce exceptional albums, my favourite ‘road’ album being R.E.M.’s New Adventures In Hi-Fi, a record reflecting the great American spaces it was written in. This gives the tracks I have heard so far real variety, both in style and execution. This bodes well for the album,
The tracks here show off a host of influences, Doves are all over Castellon Drive, the atmospheric guitars and open beats of Reykjavik Promise (my pick of the tracks here) come on like PJ Harvey’s We Float. The spiralling guitars and high-in-the-mix bass of 3 Dollar Dress evokes the fantastic Crystal, from New Order’s Get Ready. He also seems to have picked up some of the Bunnymen’s tunecraft too. What seems evident is that while Fleming’s influences are cosmopolitan his sound is still over-ridingly British, and to be more precise rooted in his North-West roots, haunted by the music of Liverpool and Manchester past. No bad thing, roll on March 10.
3 Dollar Dress (mp3)
Castellon Drive (mp3)
Reykjavik Promise (mp3)
(Tracks removed at request of label)