Edgeland (Karl Hyde) CD (2013)Underworld
These are the stories of the city, from its heart and right out to the peripheries. Stories written in the backseats of taxis, face pressed against cold glass as the sun rises, or whilst riding the rails back out east. Observations scratched into notebooks in formica cafés, sat amidst plumes of steam from vast Italian coffee machines. Views from inside and outside the M25, word maps drawn both from well trodden paths and newly uncovered holloways.
Written against the backdrop of the London 2012 Olympics and recorded in a tiny studio in the shadow of the emerging stadium in Stratford, Edgeland is Karl Hyde’s first solo album. On it, he finds the capital in flux, its borders shifting physically, almost visibly day by day. Where in the past, characters spotted and conversations overheard on the routes in and out of town provided rich inspiration for Karl’s lyrics, Edgeland puts some of the focus back on the artist himself. That analytical eye helps create an often deeply personal collection of songs about Karl’s place in the scheme of things - songs that allow the words to move around in so much gloriously harmonic space.
Edgeland’s nine tracks are collaborations with producer/musician Leo Abrahams, in whose Clapton studio it was recorded. Each track was built up from random ideas toyed with over morning coffee (A rolling, electronic sea shanty? Sure! John Martyn-esque minimalist guitar glide? Go on then). It makes for a quietly compelling listen, the perfect after-hours companion to the big room bangers and the stadium techno, man.