Matthew Collings is a Scottish-based composer. Not only being a solo recording and live artist, he collaborates regularly with artists from all kinds of fields including musicians (Ben Frost, Dag Rosenqvist from Jasper TX, Denovali label mate Talvihorros, Christos Michalakos or Euan Mcmeeken with whom he forms the duo Graveyard Tapes), dancers and filmmakers. His music can be roughly described as 'an elemental whorl of electro-acoustic (de)composition' (Boomkat.com), ranging from tiny delicate moments of intimacy to all consuming noise.
Stepping away from song-like structures, which filled his previous record, “Splintered Instruments”, creates more spacious sounds and evokes the impression of time stretched through the three dimensions. Featuring brass ensembles and a string quartet the instruments and sounds are full of cracks, breath, embedding rough materials informed by luscious intentions. Real instruments and real acoustic spaces are used as much as possible during the production such as the electronics, were played out into concert halls and large rooms and re-recorded. “Silence Is A Rhythm Too” keeps an eye on the small textural details as it is about harmony and physicality in the moment where silence and noise meet.
CD:digipak. Vinyl: thick sleeves + thick printed inner sleeves, 180g vinyl, different vinyl colours, free download.
01. Stills 02. Everything you love will end up of the breeze 03. Cicero 04. Toms 05. I am made of endless hours 06. Silence is a rhythm too
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Scottish-based Icelandic composer Matthew Collings makes a return to wax this week courtesy of this lovely gatefold package on Denovali. On it Collings mixes electronics with live instrumentation such as brass, strings and piano in a series of faltering, emotional pieces that drift gracefully from detailed minimal ambience to queasy walls of uncertain rhythm and melody and sawing string drones.
I’m particularly enjoying ‘Toms’, which takes a more percussive approach with some weirdly panned toms bubbling persistently away, sometimes reverbed into a womb-like drone, which starts as a grinding rhythmic groove complete with handclaps before decomposing into spluttering electric guitar static and paranoid staccato piano notes, repeatedly building up to near-climactic levels and then abruptly cutting back to near-silence until a final run-through which puts the different rhythmic and textural elements together in a triumphantly churning robot stomp.
It’s an interesting aesthetic he’s going for here, straddling the disciplines of textural ambient sound art and soundtracky neoclassicism in uncompromising and obsessive ways, with intensely detailed, sonically intriguing but most importantly highly listenable results.
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- Silence Is A Rhythm Too by Matthew Collings
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