British alternative-folk musician, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Robert Coyne returns this June with a new album, his third now with long-time collaborator (and pioneering drummer of the avant-garde Krautrock band Can) Jaki Liebezeit. The follow-up to the pair’s 2013 album The Obscure Department and 2015’s Golden Arc, I Still Have This Dream finds the pair in contemplative moods.
Jaki Liebezeit is best known for his exceptional “metronome” style of playing; other members of Can have suggested that he sounds as though he is “half-man, half machine”. Robert Coyne is the son of the late 2004 musician, painter and author Kevin Coyne inbetween work with with his father Kevin Coyne, with Eric Burdon, The Barracudas, The Scientists , Amy Rigby, Spooky Tooth , Sky Saxon and Chris Wilson of the Flamin ‘Groovies amongst others.
Adopting a similar approach to their work as on previous releases together, and masterfully executed, Coyne meditates on the themes of self-delusion, miscommunication, isolation, and misunderstanding, saying that some of the time it’s “just me talking to myself”. All the while Liebezeit’s famous metronomic drumming style instils a sense of calm into this quiet storm. I Still Have This Dream is the product of two stand-alone artists who have come to know each other’s strengths by heart, and developed the ability to complement these in the most exhilaratingly quiet, and stirring, way. Coyne describes their partnership as “especially dream-like.”
Not that anyone plans for warm summer days in the once called ‘potting’ shed sipping proper Somerset scrumpy, listening to Robert Coyne & Jaki Liebezeit nurturing fare more than enhances the haze. So fast forward a little and we’re listening to the new album ‘I Still Have This Dream by’ now familiarly sound, still missing some Glastonbury cider, but moreover the relaxed feel and accessibility of the alt-folk duo.
‘I Still Have This Dream’ starts with ‘’ conjures good feelings within an atmosphere of melancholia, dotted throughout with Jaki’s hypnotic math percussion, together creating something bigger than it’s parts. The feel continues with the ace ‘Another Layer Of Mud’, stealing more thunder perhaps is the love, life and romance of ‘Ball Of Light’. ‘Soother Sounds’ convinces from first listen, as does the title track with a more almost classical arrangement. ‘In The Rehearsal Room’ works, raised rom the swamp of singer songwriters, by the percussion and vocal stylings. Dashed to find ‘Slow Down’ was not a homage to the Primitives ‘Crash’ single, instead a well recognised message delivered in true Robert Coyne & Jaki Liebezeit style.
A well crafted, fully realised body of work, ‘I Still Have This Dream’ will win lots more people than just us here at the office. Simple music intoxication and not for the first time. 7.8/10