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Now Hear This: Skinshape | Arrogance is the Death of Men

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The witheringly and prophetically titled Arrogance is the Death of Men is the second album in less than a year from the prolific William Dorey of Skinshape, building on the success of 2018’s Filoxiny and his previous 2020 offering Umoja.

Written and recorded between November 2019 and July 2020, Skinshape bids to recreate something akin to the ‘old style’ of Oracolo (2015) and Life & Love (2017). With Arrogance…, Dorey’s blueprint points to a simple formula, aligning a bank of fresh drum breaks recorded at the end of 2019 to whatever he had to hand, for a long player recorded in the majority at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Forever balanced between sweetness and a sigh, as per his position Behind the Sun, the Skinshape essence, intricate yet always reachable, at times tailored in a single session and sourcing archive bric-a-brac when required, is all around on the sweetly strummed Tomorrow and The Eastern Connection, featuring Ivan Kormanak on drums.

Maintaining an incisive knowledge of global sounds that keeps him in the filmic company of Khruangbin and El Michels Affair, Dorey’s love of vintage Vietnamese music and Asian film scores provides the basis of Sound of Your Voice and Flight of the Erhu, starring Wan Pinchu on Erhu violin. Acutely aware of the world’s ongoing health crisis without preaching about the whys and wherefores, the title track and Losing My Mind reflect enforced confinement as tranquil songs of both quiet consideration yet powerful release. Dorey’s guitar pieces and wraith-like soul continue to flicker with fascination as Indian Summers and fireside retreats beckon, with Watching From The Shadows — about “standing up for yourself, and avoiding the limelight for your own good” — and Outro gently bringing the album to rest.