The Gourmet Selection…
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It’s been way to long since we last featured anything from the excellent Audio Gourmet label, so we thought some news about recent releases including an EPIC two track masterpiece from label head Harry Towell (Spheruleus) would be a nice little treat…
Spheruleus – Dissolve
In his first solo release since last year’s ‘Voyage’ album on Hibernate, Spheruleus gets the year up and running with this pair of longform pieces called ‘Dissolve’.
Dissolve is currently a digital only release, presented as a vinyl or tape set with two ‘sides’. Both pieces are continuous longform tracks, culled from a wide pool of instruments including guitar, violin, cello, harmonica, vibraphone, french horn, piano and voice. The instrument sounds are blurred into a swirling collage, accompanied by light shards of noise, radio static and field recordings.
The cover artwork was provided by photographer Richard Outram, (who also did the artwork for Voyage) and then treated with a canvas effect to make it look like a painting of what would (at first) be the artist’s ideal home.
Harry Towell, the man behind the Spheruleus moniker has recently been residing in a living space for a short time, which has for some unknown reason been less than inspiring. He is due to move soon, which got him thinking about the time he has spent living in his current home and how his musical creativity has been hindered by it. He pondered upon what would be the most ideal place to live in terms of inspiring creativity and immediately recalled Richard Outram’s beautiful photograph of an isolated house against a backdrop of mountains on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales.
The area is very much untouched and the houses are scattered sparsely.
Soon, thoughts turned to how such a place of isolation may eventually induce a despairing loneliness despite its obvious beauty. In turn, this gave Harry the inspiration to make the most of his current living space and overcome his hindered productivity with one last creative surge before he moves to pastures new.
Aside from this, the rest is left wide open for individual interpretation and it is hoped that the imagery and titles evoke thoughts that each listener can relate to themselves.
SALA – Jurmala Revisited/Breath
Lithuania based artists SALA have been recording one way or another for well over a decade. Through several CD releases out on various labels, SALA as a collective have expanded and contracted its members over the years.
Currently SALA is a one man recording operation, with Audrius Simkunas at the helm. Occasionally for live performances, other members are called upon to lend assistance.
The most recent body of work that some of our listeners may be familiar with, is a four piece set called ’4 Waters’ for the Green Field Recordings netlabel collection. To supplement this, SALA present a fifteen minute EP of field recordings based material here on Audio Gourmet.
‘Jurmala Revisited/Breath’ was recorded on the beaches of Jurmala and Ventspilis in Latvia. The sea in Jurmala played a vital part in 4 Waters, in the recording undertaken for it during 2010, so Audrius decided to visit again in July 2011 for another session.
On return, he noticed that the sea was not as calm as in the year previous and also, there was a live jazz band performing at a nearby cafe.
Jurmala Revisited/Breath documents SALA’s return to the shores of Latvia, as a sort of audio postcard. The cover photography was taken during the trip and has been treated to look like a fading memory. There are two images, one for each piece. The first is hazier and more feint, suggesting a distant recollection of events, whilst the second image is slightly clearer, as if the memory has been jogged during a listen to this EP.
You may not have been present, but you too can feel a part of the events as the sounds unfold in your ears…
Darwin Raymond – Rien/Rain
After a brief new year break, we return with the first fiteen minutes of 2012, a debut label EP from Columbus, Ohio based artist Darwin Raymond.
Darwin has been playing guitar and making music for over 20 years. It was only after his wife passed away that he felt a genuine need to make music again and actively share his work. Throughout his life, music has been extremely important and on reflection he felt the need to start giving something back by sharing his sound experiments.
Rien/Rain is made from treated guitar and viola. It was recorded in the winter of 2010/2011, which was an incredibly lonely and forlorn time for the artist. Words cannot express the feelings felt at the time and so Darwin tried to take these feelings and translate them into sound.
Rien/Rain is understandably dark overall, and its two pieces are best enjoyed using headphones in a quiet room. The dark and brooding nature of these pieces can be unsettling, but the brief fifteen minute duration ensures that it does not become maudlin. Instead, the sounds come across as a release, which somehow make it feel uplifting…
Seth Chrisman and Darren Harper – Forever Itself Becomes
Forever Itself Becomes is the debut collaborative output from ambient sound design artists Seth Chrisman and Darren Harper. After discovering each other’s works online, the two quickly realized the potential for a cohesive musical collaboration, and set forth to see how such an experiment might unfold. Forever Itself Becomes is the result, and marks the beginning of many more such experiments.
Both have featured on Audio Gourmet in the past – Darren’s EP ‘Momentary’ was only our second release, back in May 2010 and Seth is responsible for this year’s ‘Celestial Bodies’ EP, under his main artist alias Widesky.
Aside from these two previous EPs, both artists have been working hard over the last couple of years towards expanding their discography. Darren’s work has graced several labels, including Rural Colours, Twisted Treeline, Childrenplay Records and Earth Mantra. Seth’s previous work as Widesky has emerged from labels such as Rural Colours and Pocket Fields.
Together, these two artists have created a rich and enveloping wall of sound that is awash with subtle droning nuances.
More solo output is planned for the new year from these two artists but we hope you enjoy their first collaboration, which is hopefully the start of something great…
Dusk To Dawn – Dusk To Dawn
After a hiatus stretching back to October, we thought it was about time we released something new on Audio Gourmet.
I’m delighted to announce that industrious Polish sound designer Bartosz Dziadosz has teamed up with talented Japanese pianist Shintaro Aoki in a brief EP that breaks Audio Gourmet rules.
Rather than being the required 15 minutes, it comes in at just over 10 instead but we felt that it says all that is needed to say in its timeframe and decided to release it as it is, with no further work required.
A brief background check on these artists and for those that don’t already know, Bartosz Dziadosz usually produces as Pleq. He has had a prolific 2011, collaborating with a list of artists too numerous to name and we feel very lucky to release what is possibly his final outing of the year.
For this particular collaboration, he has teamed up with Shintaro Aoki, who provides the piano for this EP – which is the driving force of the music here. Shintaro’s work this year has seen two excursions on Somehow Recordings new offshoot label Twisted Treeline. Delving through these, you’ll soon learn that as well as being a skilled pianist, Shintaro is also at home as an electronic musician.
In this pairing of artistic minds, the duo have opted for a new pseudonym for their combined creative output – Dusk To Dawn. They have also decided to self title their first release under this moniker and have drawn upon the photographic talent of Richard Outram to provide the front cover. The image is a stunning black and white landscape shot taken in Wales. It is quite imposing, which is in deliberate stark contrast to the beautiful music that it represents.
Throughout this short set of light piano driven pieces, you’ll be left feeling both refreshed and frustrated at the same time. It proves a great source of relaxation that curtails all too soon. But then, you could always play it again…and again…and again
Since it’s the season for giving, these artists have kindly allowed me to released ‘Dusk To Dawn’ for free. We hope you all enjoy it!