BEX BURCH - THERE IS ONLY LOVE AND FEAR

BEX BURCH - THERE IS ONLY LOVE AND FEAR

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Released: 20/10/23

The Berlin-based British composer and percussionist Bex Burch, if the title of her terrific new album is to be believed, disagrees with Pip Blom’s love-scepticism – although it doesn’t make the alternative a particularly appealing proposition. Indeed, it sounds downright fire-and-brimstone Biblical. Which is ironic because There Is Only Love and Fear is a work of supreme nuance, tranquility and experimental exploration. Very much in the vein of the brilliant wonky avant-folk of the Scottish composer and musician Bill Wells, the LP marries the deeply satisfying ligneous sweep of exploratory fiddle, and other folk instruments, with Burch’s mutative minimalist percussive patterns, redolent of Steve Reich circa Music for 18 Musicians, as well as pellucid field recordings.  

The result of a month spent in the US last summer, at the invitation of the stellar International Anthem, There Is Only Love and Fear is at heart a collaboration with the record label’s eminent cast of creative musicians, including Ben LaMar Gay, Macie Stewart, Anna Butterss, Mikel Patrick Avery, and Dan Bitney of Tortoise – all of whom Burch met for the first time in the moments before they played. Later edited, decomposed, and recontextualized by Burch, the instant collaboration that is There Is Only Love and Fear is one of the finest LPs of modern composition you will hear this year.