My Little Cab Records MLCR#031 CDr limited run of 100 (Review copy is #25)
Timing: 23:56 Mastered by Emmanuel Nogues
Website and Ordering: http://mylittlecabrecords.bandcamp.com/album/srf-lix
Tracks: 1) We Walk Until The End; 2) The Wind Dies; 3) Leaving Home; 4) A River In Winter; 5) Old Memories; 6) Until The End
S. R. Félix lives and records his works at home, between Lille and the shores of Brittany in France. His self-titled debut release on My Little Cab Records is an enchanting sonic novella that alternates between states of observation and contemplation. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic (piano, guitar, strings and treatments), and there are similarities with the instrumental portions of recent works by Will Samson and Gareth Dickson. There is deep sense of reverence for place and time.
We Walk Until The End announces a departure on a (perhaps imagined) journey with a layered and expansive beckoning, which gradually develops into an exultant march before fading. The Wind Dies shifts to a more introspective piano meditation. The recording preserves the ambient sounds of the inner workings of the muted piano*. Leaving Home continues the sense of reflection, this time with a solitary electric guitar lament. It starts quietly and grows more intense during the choruses. A River In Winter is a more outward looking and expansive sonic vision; a desolate scene encountered as the journey continues. Old Memories has a metronomic muted piano (layered with shimmering guitar). It expresses the passage of time, and gives the sense of viewing faded photographs. Until The End is perhaps the arrival at the destination, to a darker yet more serene realm. The sound is deeper and moves in waves to the close.
My Little Cab Records is a French DIY record label that has released mostly limited edition CDrs since 2004. The CD sleeve has an intriguing pine forest panorama spanning the front and back covers of the expressive and fully hand-lettered sleeve (with pressed dried flowers). S. R. Félix is working on his next album, to be released in 2013. Although this eponymous debut release is more akin to an extended EP than a full LP album, I find it to be a solid introduction to Félix’s work, and I look forward to the future release, as well.
*-Recording note: There is a slight vibration at the edges of the sonic peaks on this track. To be certain that it was not my equipment, I switched between multiple pairs of speakers and the vibration remained. It is not too distracting, but it is noticeable on certain equipment.
This is a solicited review, although I had already purchased a copy of the album.