Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mixing the Quiet World

It's been a pretty tedious day today. It's been pissing down all day and so I've spent it sat here feeling cooped up and slightly ill. I really wanted to spend the day under a tree with my book and a bottle but the weather put paid to that idea. also was meant to be going to a gig tonight but my lift cancelled at the last moment and i couldn't be bothered to go on my own so, crap day followed by crap evening.
but it did mean i could get on with something I'd planned to do the other day and so i busied myself making a Mixcloud mix of old Quiet World tracks. There's one unreleased track on there (the second) but the rest are all taken from previous QW and ECR releases. hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Gambolling dirt

After about 10 months of promising to do it i've finally finished the new collaboration with Darren Tate. It's a two track album called 'The Earth In Play' and it's a lot mellower and less intense than recent releases. no keyboard drones on this one it's all acoustic. Darren sent me some accordian and strange percussive noises (made on a guitar and a bowl) which i mixed with some field recordings, a great long layered wooden flute drone and some of my rudimentary piano playing. hopefully you'll dig it. i like it and darren's response was pretty enthusiastic. no release date as yet but i'd hazard a guess that it'll be in about a month.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

grave hunting

Went for a long walk the other day and took some photos. the second one was taken from where i was crashed out in the third one.

An ancient burial site in a place called Tinkinswood.

another ancient burial site. this one was for a greyhound.

taking a well needed break. it was unseasonably warm after such a long cold winter.

tired, so very tired.

have run myself ragged over the last week and a half but able to go back to work soon for a bit of a rest.

the new issue of the zine is up. no podcast as yet as i've not had time but hopefully soon.

a new review of A Brief Sojourn arrived today from Evening Of Light - my thanks to Oscar.

In terms of quality releases, things have been running smoothly for Welsh drone/ambient label Quiet World. A recent example is A Brief Sojourn, a collaboration between Banks Bailey and Ian Holloway, delivering well over half an hour of finely blended drones and field recordings.

The sound on this album is most comparable to that on Summerland, where both men worked together with Darren Tate. A heavy dose of nature sounds like rain, birds, rustlings, are combined with subtle melodies, drones, and pulses, together forming a varied and atmospheric whole. The drones and weather sounds form an organic backdrop for a broad scala of unique ‘voices’.

The release isn’t very extreme at either end of the intensity spectrum; it maintains a stable level of layeredness and volume, without any strong eruptions of noise or silence. A perfect companion piece for a journey, a meditation or relaxation session, and the like. It’s a tad dark and ominous at times, so A Brief Sojourn will primarily be of interest to lovers of more obscure drone and ambient, but that goes for most of the Quiet World titles thus far. Compared to what went before, in any case, this one is certainly no disappointment.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

chilling with tea and a book

on holiday for two weeks. can't afford to go anywhere exotic so staying put and disappearing off on jaunts. today though is all about watching old episodes of doctor who, reading a victorian era who-dunnit, walking into mumbles for a mooch around and then getting a late breakfast in my favourite greasy-spoon cafe before heading home to repeat the first two.

got a new review yesterday for A Brief Sojourn and very nice it is too. thanks michael.

On A Brief Sojourn, Quiet World head Ian Holloway (formerly Psychic Space Invasion) constructs wonderfully solemn ambient gloriousness out of synthesizers and Banks Bailey's crisp, bucolic field recordings. It's a stellar match – this isn't the first time the two have collaborated – as Holloway's gloriously low-key drones coalesce perfectly with the incidental recordings: a trickling creek, wind in the thickets, insect symphonies... All together, the disc has that uncanny ability to take you to (your own mental rendition of) the sound sources themselves, though imbued with an inner tranquility that meshes perfectly with the pastoral nature of the audio. Through the album's lone, substantial composition, several stretches of mood are encountered, including periods of uplifting lightness, vague menace, and dreary longingness. Certainly, one of Holloway's core talents is his ability to conjure up these feelings with such minimal sonic output – it's all about sound placement and the choice of tones. Design aside, however, what results from all this is a thirty-six minute passage of sound that is at once marvellously listenable, exquisite to rest to, and more than a little reminiscent of ambient work by Biosphere – especially with regards to the field recordings, which remind one of a less polar formulation of Geir Jenssen's atmospheric designs. A subtle treat. - Michael Tau,