Saturday opens with the ebullient birdsong that, every morning for a few months of the year, joyfully wakes Samoyed from sleep in his hut in the rural North of Scotland. For the rest of the year, the wild land returns to its state of brooding, overcast quietude, and samoyed spends his mornings sitting staring into the middle distance over a bowl of porridge. Recorded slowly and intermittently over the course of four years, Saturday is a document of sixteen of these passing seasons, a constant state of change and contrast - in the landscape and the man - reflected in its eleven tracks.
Samoyed's preoccupation with the natural world, balance and zen is counterpointed by the faded gloss of the cheap and failing 1980s equipment used to make the album. Saturday has a surface of synthetic lustre, gated snares and digital reverb, but underneath the gloss lies great warmth, threaded with 4-track tape hiss, splashes of plaintive strings and a heartbreaker of an upright piano. The result brings to mind Talk Talk, Severed Heads, Yasuaki Shimizu, Disintegration-era Cure and those bittersweet John Hughes film soundtracks.
Saturday marks the latest chapter in Flask's hectic release schedule, the last being Samoyed's Always from this point in 2008, a low-key classic of drone released on hand-screenprinted CD-R. In the years since, aside from gaining a design PhD and having a couple of wee melties, samoyed has released an EP of songs on Astro:Dynamics and prescient, loping schmaltz-house records for Lukid's GLUM and Jacques Greene's Vase labels.
Flask has been resurrected for the same reasons that it was founded - to release a Samoyed album so out-of-nowhere that no other label seemed appropriate for it (or really wanted it). In line with Flask's emphasis on beautiful, hand-crafted packaging, the Saturday LP features a 2-colour black and metallic gold woodblock print cut by the man himself.