Ampersand Extras ~ Deluxe Vinyl Ampersand Extras ~ Deluxe Vinyl  Ref: CHEM217
THE SKINNY (24.09.14)

Oh, this is too much. After three albums of beautiful, lilting guitar instrumentals (to which you could fairly attach genre descriptors like ‘flamenco,’ ‘folk’ and ‘post-rock’ without really nailing what’s going on), RM Hubbert returns with another spectacular offering. Only this time, he hasn’t even brought us anything new - Ampersand Extras is merely a collection of outtakes from the aforementioned trio of records. That even his rejects are so fucking good speaks volumes.

Hubby’s sporadic collaborators offer enjoyable detours, especially in the case of Alan Bissett’s warm narration on Song for Jenny; ditto Elliot’s murky atmospherics, courtesy of author and occasional Mogwai collaborator Luke Sutherland. It’s his own fleet-fingered compositions that truly stop the heart, however: PB and the poignant Hanging Pointers braid themselves subtly around simple patterns, creating something extraordinarily complex and resonant in the process. Entire conurbations of sumptuous melody and fascinating texture - and yet so very nearly thrown away? Bloody hell, imagine that. [4/5]
Will Fitzpatrick