Sound In Silence #sis015 Limited Edition of 200 CDr in hand numbered sleeve w/ insert
Tracks: 1) Passing Time, 2) Monuments, 3) Concrete Oceans, 4) Sandlab, 5) I Have Never Seen The Light, 6) Scholars Of Time Travel (part 2), 7) Sun Dial, 8) So Long As They Fear Us (on the CDr only)
The overlapping musical origins of Mike Abercrombie and Brad Deschamps have led to a sound that shifts between music genres: Mike’s roots being in electronic music and Brad’s in post-rock. They share common interests in the works of Eno, Satie, Stars of the Lid and others, and their music is soothing yet with a clarity of awareness of the out there beyond what is often the prosaic miasma passing these days as ambient instrumental music. It’s kind of like lightly sleeping with one eye open; taking in a view and related sounds while acknowledging what might lurk in the underneath or the above. At first, the presence of a musical fabric sets a scene and then a transformation to what might be a song in search of a lyric or even a deep transitional groove—it fits well.
At times the change in sound can be more than just a nudge (an unforeseen entrance of percussion or a back beat as in the middle of I Have Never Seen The Light—a wake-up of sorts, as if to ask: “Are you paying attention?—Don’t drift off just yet!”). It appears like a coalesced awareness from within a dream or as if sleeping in the warm sun when a cool breeze unexpectedly but pleasantly arises (a well known Canadian experience, I suspect).
There are threads between pieces on the album (and also to North Atlantic Drift’s first EP) like with the common sonic roots in Passing Time and Monuments (the undercurrent that binds) with the themes further developed with sustained and reverberant electric guitars. I’m somewhat familiar with their previous album Canvas as well as their two EPs Amateur Astronomy and their first work Scholars of Time Travel, the root of the sixth track SOTT (part 2) on Monuments. Part 2 is the awakened day to the original EP’s quiescent night with first an undertow of processed piano, and then the Sun rises as the undisguised piano is revealed.
I find that North Atlantic Drift’s music has a stronger connection to recent work by Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) as opposed to Eno, Satie or SotL, yet the overall sound is more rooted in tangible instrumentation; the alignment with Guthrie’s work being that moods are set with an opening wash of sound (while a spring is being gently wound) and then a release to a fuller rhythmic soundscape. The most visually reflective track on the album is Sun Dial, the slow sweep of shadows passing as the light and activity waxes and wanes with the field-recorded ephemeral sounds of a day. The extra track So Long As They Fear Us on the CDr (not the digital download) is a return to the quietude, like sitting on a porch (in the dark) on a comfortable rainy night with a safely distant thunderstorm.
And don’t forget to go back to their album Canvas—copies are still available.
Amateur Astronomy: http://northatlanticdrift.bandcamp.com/album/amateur-astronomy
Canvas (first full album): http://northatlanticdrift.bandcamp.com/album/canvas
Scholars of Time Travel: http://northatlanticdrift.bandcamp.com/album/scholars-of-time-travel
This is a solicited review.
Will the Circle be Unbroken
On Capitol Nashville, various artists (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band et al…cast of many)
In honor of the passing of Doc Watson I’ve been listening to this (two CD set from 2002). It was originally released in 1972 as 3 LPs and 3 cassette tapes (my LPs were long ago worn out). My favorite is Doc Watson’s version of the Jimmie Driftwood song Tennessee Stud.
Dictaphone – Poems From A Rooftop
#sonicpieces013 – http://sonicpieces.com/sonicpieces013.html
The title taken from Iran’s Green Revolution…more on the album at the link above. Really interesting sonics, rhythms, instrumentation and delightfully quirky. My favorite on the album is Manami.
Video of the handmade limited edition CD cover:
Brian McBride – The Effective Disconnect
Kranky #KRANK150 – http://www.kranky.net/
Music composed for the documentary Vanishing of the Bees
One half of the duo Stars of the Lid. A really beautiful soundtrack and I’d love to find the film.
Small Color – In Light
Yusuke Onishi and Rie Yoshihara, really charming minimal electro-acoustic Japanese pop.
And then there’s this gem of an album…
Aspidistrafly – A Little Fable
The first edition has sold out. So a second edition of 2,500 copies will be released shortly. Both the book and music have a delightfully ancient quality about them. Ambient sounds, chamber music, vocals and electro-acoustic music. As one friend put it, “…it’s a lovely album.” It really is. There are sound samples at the link above.
This is available at: http://darla.com/
Homeward Waltz is my favorite piece: