Chris Dooks – Accretion Disc
The LP by Chris Dooks begins with some lovely brass, augmented by trails of chiming choral voice. “Sorry I was just carrying this”, a voice explains, pointing to the idea that Dooks is carrying a voice recorder between destinations. The meshing of found sounds and recorded material is admirable. “I went to work once” a baby talks to the man holding the device, having a conversation with her about baby steps. Just by listening there is a possibility of auditory hallucination between ages and genders, as if either vocabulary could be stated for either subject.
The second track also starts well, introducing fuzzy, smoothly-dappled drones into the organic/synthetic wash of sound. It’s a mix and a wash, like a soundtrack to an underwater ferris wheel attraction powered by the whistles on the wind. Indeed there is a whistling melody from the synth to summon in the tide, sounding like a reprise to Goldfrapp’s “Horse Tears”, released on Mute in 2000. Pretty sonic colours fill the mind with a churning drone effusion that could be the soundtrack to some Legend Of Zelda game from afar.
It can be stated by hereon in that ‘Accretion’ turns into an expansive and peacing ambient record equal parts The Caretaker in ballroom style opera samples (the third track) and the tired yawning hums throughout. They do not dull the listener into a false sense of security; neither do they disconcert in the blight of anxiety. All in accretion is for good and bad, and there’s more good here than anything else.
Jason Van Wyk – Attachment
The second Eilean Rec. release added to the roster for March is by Jason Van Wyk, a very Goldmund-calibre composer using acoustic piano, drone strings and bittersweet candyfloss atmospheres to paint a Nest-reaching path towards and past hope and regret. “Attachment LP” opener “Kept” is initially desolate and soul searching, but not searing, like a bad breakup of vows or orders in the mind. Thoughtfulness underlines itself on Jason’s compositional standard. Like Chris Dooks album, the opener is merely a bookend, a prologue of sorts. Much is to be revealed by investment.
Second piece, “Before” is veering fuller into filmic worlds and imagined shadow lands, a pulse outlined on the brink of regulation ebbing and flowing like a shark bobbing underwater, evading a human captor. The important hinge in the pathbetween organic and inorganic sound here and storyline is that Van Wyk shows unnatural sounds are not always dangerous sounds. This is also a key component of the release, kicking the listener on gently with a little push instead of a fatalblow. That quality – the ability to restrain the overarching weight of the classical string – is complimentarily treatedand tempered by the piano flourishes that pitter and patter in a well of resonant melodic rain.
Rain and refrain, as such composite syllable associations, is comparable to the structural density of this recording by Jason. Raining and refraining from destroying and abstaining as well curate the theme of this review of Eilean material -will o’ the wisp in execution, timelessly orchestrated instrumentally and indispensible as such, these would be two lovely discs or records/downloads for anyone’s family archive.