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CRANES - Biography

October 2008 saw the long-awaited release of a new studio album by Cranes, the B ritish group whose creative output has spanned over fifteen years and with this latest addition nine studio albums. Cranes has been three years in the making. It is a triumph of celestial atmosphe ric rock and metaphysical minimalist electronics, made instantly recognisable by Alison Shaw s childlike vocals and Jim Shaw s uniquely inventive compositions. There are themes of fractals, the mysterious mathematical patterns and shapes th at can be found throughout nature and the universe beyond. Lyrics speak of the p assing of time, of how cyclical things can be and of wanting to move forward. Th is is all woven into compositions that take in everything from krautrock and fol k, to intricate, almost extra-terrestrial soundscapes and David Lynch-esque melo dies. Stand out tracks include Feathers a filmic Espers-recalling underwater epic and High and Low s guitar-led waltz. There s Panorama s dark Parisian vocal layering and W ires soaring melody textured with Four Tet-like blips. The Cranes story began in a garage and a garden in Portsmouth almost two decades ago. There, as teenagers, sister and brother duo Alison and Jim Shaw would mess around with any old bits of equipment they could get their hands on, experiment ing with recordings until their first album Self Non Self was complete. Fast forward to the present day and the duo that became Cranes can look back at a body of work that split into two distinct eras. The music from the 90s had a p eculiar intensity, which seemed incongruous at the time. Their early fans includ ed John Peel, the legendary Joy Division producer Martin Hannett and Robert Smit h, who asked them to open for The Cure on the 1992 Wish Tour. Cranes released seve ral albums through Dedicated/BMG two of which ('Wings Of Joy' and 'Forever') hav e recently been re-issued on Cherry Red due to popular demand. In 1997 came the first stirrings of a new sound and a new Cranes, one which still revolved around the sister-brother axis but left behind the industrial rock element, replacing it with their own compelling version of electronic-based songcraft. The band reemerged in 2001 on their own Dadaphonic label and went on to release two more ac claimed albums in their new guise 2001 s Future Songs and 2004 s Particles and Waves . With a stop-start few years in and out of the studio Cranes got the tracks down this August for the new album. During this period Alison has also been studying for a Masters degree in Creative Writing, writing a book, while Jim has been wri ting and recording for Cranes as well as for several other groups. Songs from Cranes 2004 album Particles and Waves have been used in TV and film s ynchronizations, including documentaries such as BBC Panorama, a French/Canadian feature film version of Romeo and Juliet starring Jeanne Moreau, a feature film entitled Broken English starring Parker Posie and Gena Rowlands, and an American Express advert starring Kate Winslet. Recent band member changes have resulted i n a current line up of Alison (lyrics, vocals and guitar) and Jim (multi instrum entalist), who are joined by Ben Baxter on bass, Paul Smith on keyboards and gui tar with new drummer Dave Hirschheimer on drums. Dave has previously played with Dizzee Rascal and Electrelane. The new album s otherworldly tonal beauty will continue to see them existing outsi de of the mainstream, slightly disconnected but able to offer a very beautiful,

one-of-a-kind vision of life in the twenty first century. Cranes is released through Dadaphonic and is published by Mute Song. Distributio n in Germany is by Indigo.