Recommended by us on 11th February 2010.
Crow Autumn is the latest album by English composer Richard Skelton, who releases haunting and evocative music under a variety of guises through his own much-acclaimed Sustain-Release Private Press. From Clouwbeck to Heidika, Carousell to Riftmusic, his recordings brim with intensity and stark beauty, redolent of the landscapes that inspire them. Recording here as A Broken Consort – his most prolific and successful pseudonym – Skelton expertly builds on the achievements of last year's Box Of Birch, creating a dense-yet-delicate weave of textures from a broad palette of acoustic instruments, including guitar, mandolin, piano, violin and accordion. The result is a stunning sequence of swells and eddies, culminating in the orchestral intensity of 'The River', with its torrent of interleaved violin melodies and seething undertow. Originally released in two installments on the artist's own label, this special edition for Tompkins Square distills the essence of those recordings into a coherent whole, and augments them with new material, including the beautifully elegiac 'Like Rain', and the brooding coda of 'Leaves'. With Crow Autumn, Skelton has created a work of enduring beauty that should firmly establish him as one of England's most uniquely talented contemporary artists, capable of rendering with a fine brush the visceral majesty of the natural landscape.
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