by Lost Roman Legions
Deserted Village/Stabies etc : DV24 : 2006
It's the first recording of a collaboration of Pumice and some United Bible Students recorded in early '05 when he was in Ireland for some gigs. We're charging 7.50 for this one 'cause it's a pro-printed cdr in beautiful silver handmade packaging. It's in an edition of 100 which means we've only got 50.
Review by Bryon Hayes on Foxy Digitalis
There’s been a heap of excellent music coming from Ireland’s Deserted Village label lately, and the same can be said for New Zealand’s eternal traveller Stefan Neville. Lost Roman Legions is the result of a collaboration between Neville and members of the Deserted Village flagship United Bible Studies, recorded in early 2005 while Neville was gigging through Europe. Both Pumice (Neville’s nom de guerre) and UBS have received their share of praise here on Foxy Digitalis and elsewhere, so it’s no surprise that the collaboration was highly anticipated by many. This release – a split between Deserted Village and Neville’s Stabbies etc. label – is the perfect marriage of Pumice’s meandering melancholy with the ebullient improvisations of United Bible Studies.
A sense of intimacy and delicate exploration hovers around these recordings. The screaming static of Neville’s guitar is toned down considerably, creating space for the other members to fill. This is certainly the work of veteran improvisers – musical ideas are formed, added to, and manipulated by all the players in unison. None of the instruments overshadows any of the others. “Longing for Latium,” just one of many standout tracks, features what seems to be a half-dozen intertwined guitar parts, whose synergy is astounding.
Lost Roman Legions is certainly a welcome addition to the ranks of both the Deserted Village and the Pumice camps. Fans of languid, deftly executed improvisatory folk will be pleasantly surprised. Recommended.- Bryon Hayes