The Riddling Reavers "Time Of The Signs"

14 songs conceived and recorded lo-fi by buddy troubadours Oli Hudson and Benjamin Gross in the summer of 1999 in Paziols, France

The Tinkers ; The Reavers ; The Simpletons ; The Ambassador ; Philomena ; Tinto the Troubadour ;
Twingo the Gringo ;Li'l Lula Lanolin ; Ol' Face Hogarth ; Redge, Wilf ; The Narrators ;
and the one and only ... Logan The Trickster

Oli Sir Topaz Hudson - guitars, bass, voices, pots pans - Sir Topaz on MySpace
Ben J. Gross - guitars, cymbals, voices, kitchen utensils, The Beatles Book (as a snare drum)
Tom Fallowfield - occasional de-tuned guitar
The youth of Paziols - applause, crowd noises
Mairie de Paziols - allo allo
Ali White - Random vocal intervention
Sam Gross - harmonies on Sad Song
Chris Jones - double-speed guitar sonic rescue engineer

recorded on a AKAI 4 track cassette dinosaur, summer 1999

"Time Of The Signs"

The Riddling Reavers

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The musical and literary union of two childhood friends from London, England, The Riddling Reavers (c.1999-2000) were a studio psychedelic folk outfit occupying a central place in the renaissance of psychedelic folk, and no kidding. The 'Reavers are best known for deploying a harmless arsenal of fourteen genre-defying broadsides and vagabond ballads in their 1999 sonic war against convention and reason, Time of the Signs. Using a production style that can be best described as 'accidental', they haphazardly fashioned an untidy-student-bedroom meisterwerk that perfectly captures the ambienza of two rat-race drop-outs coming up on LSD in a small southern French wine village. Riffing on cheerfully pretentious themes of random, chance, luck, gypsies, tinkers, simpletons, children, fantasy, Macbeth, jesters, adventure, the occult, music, spontaneity, heartbreak, journeys, place, time, signs, and headwear, they nonetheless manage to impregnate their sound with the colour and warmth that is achievable only through genuine, naive joy in musical creation. Woven through the songs, a madcap-don Small-Faces-influenced voiceover harks to hidden worlds of trickster spirits; the sound of the village 'Allo Allo melts into a medieval Cathar Madrigal. Here, the giggling rancour of a surreal situationist party, where Louis Armstrong turns up eyes bulging, tripping, barely holding on; there, Simon and Garfunkel morph into a pair of gentle cockney elves whilst Van Morrison flamenco-doodles in the armchair in the corner and Squarepusher, visiting for the weekend, makes mushroom tea on the woodstove. Here, a town full of metalworkers bang pots in perfect unison, like some romantic fable of socialist harmony; there, touches of sampling, ska and dub pick up on the soundscape of the indigenous teen; and like the twelfth night, assumptions are rendered topsy-turvy; acoustic guitars groan with the weight of all time while basslines scamper around like unhousetrained puppies. The songs are mixed it would sometime seem on the roll of a die, but there is shimmering sunlight flickering on the lapping river surface of this record, magic and loss, mythology and vision. If this is not genius, we don't know what is.

Oli Hudson, a reaver, 2009
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