International Airport | GEOG26 | Released: 29/08/04
'Inviting people into your home for the first time is a special moment. You and your family are saying "this is how we live, come and share it for a while".' International Airport, June 2004. Reunion Of Island Goose is International Airport's long-awaited follow-up to their brilliant debut, Nothing We Can Control. Like that album, Reunion is both complex and playful; a Caledonian folk psych which touches on memories of Orange Juice, Os Mutantes, and a less urbane Pavement. It is a record with a strong sense of nature and melody, and of strong compositions which seem to sway in the wind even as the musicians note the notes, and endeavour to send them out into the world. Group leader, Tom Crossley is a multi-instrumentalist and contributor to The Pastels, and the other main participants are long-time member, Stephen Aston on guitar and vocals, and Annabel Crossley ('Aggi'), on bass, vocals, and cover artwork. It has a vocal cameo from Alasdair Roberts on Association, and some ethnic instrumentation. Reunion has a beautiful close sound and was recorded in various West of Scotland locations, including East Kilbride Arts Centre, with David Scott; and Chicago, with Tom flying out to mix with John McEntire in his famous Soma Studio. International Airport's music always seems very personal to Tom; in fact it's exactly like Tom. International Airport's rhythms are the way that Tom walks down the street; the words are like his soft burr imparting great knowledge even as it trails off into the void. Really Tom is not only the auteur of the music, but of the Airport world. Other people who play in the group not only tune into this, but become part of it. In the past this has only added to the lore which surrounds them in Glasgow, where most of the original lineup were famous for living in a flat where no-one was ever heard to speak. Tom taught his friends to play instruments he seemed barely to have grasped himself, making something equal part musical and unmusical, which we now see has some similarities to Tori Kudo's design for Maher Shalal Hash Baz. If the first International Airport album, Nothing We Can Control, succeeded by scaling down into more manageable parts, Reunion somehow catches more of those triumphant moments in the early concerts when it would suddenly come together and you realised you were watching the best band in town. Reunion is chaotic and idealistic: in places it isn't neat, and you may worry that you're rambling without a map, but don't worry, it's about to get extravagantly rewarding as you move from this field to the next. Reunion Of Island Goose is a record that we at Geographic feel privileged to release, and we will precede it with a single, Association. Teenage Fanclub are already associating; they are as we speak recording a cover version of the song for the flip.