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- Amber Studies by Wil Bolton
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Wil Bolton’s been a busy lad lately, I swear this is at least the fourth or fifth CD we’ve had of his this year if you include collaborations (on the likes of Distant Noise, Time Released Sound, Hibernate, and now on Hibernate offshoot Rural Colours). Thanks to their limited nature they don’t tend to stick around long either.
On this disc he’s doling out more casually paced melodic dronescapes with the dominant textures coming from guitars and keyboards. The opening track ‘Rynek Glowny’ is a sonorous guitar drone which everyone in the office is (erroneously) saying sounds exactly like the Pleq & Hakobune disc I just reviewed - it doesn’t, they’re just both quite peaceful and melodic and droney, but this is very much a solo guitar drone piece, much more minimal than the layered tones on that collaboration.
Then on ‘Ulica Kanonicza’ he switches to a warm, pulsing set of layered organ drones for a breathy dreamscape that Business Lady just said is “making time slow down”. She said it in anger but that’s basically what you should be into if you’re going to enjoy this CD. Phil says, “These drones can fuck off”, but I’m quite enjoying the drones this morning. Wish I was stoned though.
Third track ‘Ulica Grodzka’ continues this keyboard drone theme but with much more warm, predictable throbs and buried field recordings of distant speech that sounds wistful and plaintive with the slow emotional swells going in almost a Stars Of The Lid/Winged Victory sort of direction. Finally ‘Plac Szczepanski’ brings back some guitar shimmers along with a bit of glitch and grainy industrial clatter for a much more densely layered, fast-moving piece of sound art with constant unsettling cuts belying the therapeutic nature of the tones for an emotionally confusing piece which demands your attention rather more than I’m used to from this kind of ambient drift. Four very different tracks showcasing this prolific sound artist’s diverse expressive palette. Most impressive.
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