Friday, 25 September 2009

Down-To-Earth Spirits, One Way Or Another

CELER – Brittle

Having remained alone, Will Long is not showing any sign of relenting from publishing material, either new or archival, an output whose level of proliferation is directly proportional to a consistent depth. What’s great is that - contrarily to what typically happens in this field (a successful release authorizing its originator to flood the market with useless outings) – Celer’s music is becoming better with the passage of time, which is usually the indicator of a serious personal and artistic growth. Brittle doesn’t need many words to be described, and indeed the composers themselves individuate the hypothetical effect on the listener as one of “warm comfort”, which is exactly what occurs with these subtly influencing humming superimpositions, born from modifications of piano, violin, cello, tingsha bells, harpsichord and whistle. Will and Dani transform the naked sounds of regular instruments into an inspection of recondite needs, always finding a way to generate emotional reverberations that don’t require added sugar to manifest their efficacy. Subdued reflections caressing our lives for about 50 minutes, a wonderfully unassuming company that represents much more than sheer “ambient” (although Brian Eno should be proud of these young heirs). (Low Point)

ANDREW CHALK & DAISUKE SUZUKI - In Faxfleet Clouds Uplifted Autumn Gave Passage To Kind Nature

Additional news from Chalk and Suzuki via a 12-inch EP whose sleeve’s artwork is, purely and simply, a fabulous thing to gaze at. The sides are completely different in terms of musical content. “Queen Of Heaven”, especially at moderate volume, is very easy on the ears and mind-relaxing, consisting of contiguous harmonic washes and mild colours (possibly generated from superimposed guitars and keyboards), a gently swelling permanence characterizing the whole piece, which is atypically “present” despite its temperate mood, all elements well-visible as opposed to just perceivable. “Of Beauty Reminiscing” and “The Water Clock” make use of Suzuki’s field recordings, juxtaposing them with subtler droning gradations and sparse touches of piano (supposedly by Vikki Jackman) in a somewhat more essential exploration of a few precious moments of tranquillity. One is always sure that every release coming from these artists corresponds to an object to cuddle and treasure – visually, musically, or both. (Faraway Press)


This 10-inch constitutes my first meeting with Kojo, a man who seems very interested in the spiritual aspects of things – including sonorous found objects, which is what he deals with in Ezo. In the sleeve notes (splendid artwork, by the way) one notices a thanking of Michael Northam, so I was hoping to find something along those coordinates – human frailty against natural elements in remote places, you get the picture. Instead, the noise – more or less harsh, at times layered in “contrapuntal” fashion – of the above mentioned objects remains the main character throughout, the focus almost completely centred on the abrasive qualities of metals. For the large part, this amounts to a poor man’s version of Organum bathed in lengthy reverberations. Despite the appreciable attitude shown by its engenderer this record didn’t manage to raise any emotional response, nor it can be analyzed as a serious experiment. Musical significance lies somewhere else. (Alluvial)