Some subtle expansions from Wil Bolton. Whorl is a series of slow burning ambient compositions from the multi-medium artist. The tracks blend some acoustic instruments and sounds with deeply soft electronics to create an ethereal dream zone experience. Definitely one for the Eno heads. Out on CD from Sound In Silence and limited to 200 copies.
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- Whorl by Wil Bolton
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The word ‘Whorl’ must be so current. This is the second album to feature a word which would have otherwise barely entered into the collective lexicon, and also happens to be the second great Whorl to grace our ears. Do they both sound like the definition? Is it a coincidence that they’re both excellent records? Yes. Have the planets aligned heralding the apocalypse? Possibly. Can Wil Bolton soothe you towards the end? Absolutely.
The UK based “artist working with sound” is certainly committed to the drone, with previous album Bokeh coming out earlier this year. As if that wasn’t enough of a gentle caress, he’s popped out another only months later. An album full of ambient pianos and subtle glitches, Whorl does indeed spiral intricately, a whole world of peaceful birdsong and timid chimes unraveling before you. As one of his major motifs, the use of field recordings is persistent and complements the acoustic resonance of the piano to a tee. The hiss of the lo-fi recording equipment used for these layers also never leaves, keeping you firmly in your happy place for the full 38 minutes. So ethereal are the sounds painted here that my daydreams of open palms colliding with Ian’s massive cheeks are plunged into slow motion and doused with luscious technicolour. I preferred them brutal actually.
Each new track presents a new cycling succession of piano tones, giving them their own identity badges despite wearing almost identical uniform. This analogy only really works if the figurative wageslaves are working in a pillow factory or something else soft, situated in a spring woodland. There’s a worker-drone / musical-drone parallel here somewhere too.
Final track ‘Reverie’ is a rare glimpse into minor key territory, ushering in nighttime over Perfect Valley. Best head back home, drones. You must be tired from all that pillow sewing. It reminds me of Tim Hecker’s barebones Dropped Pianos from a couple of years back, with the rest of the album sounding like Ryuichi Sakamoto shoved through the Eno machine. Certainly more interesting than the Thomas Koner ambient piano escapade Tiento de las Nieves from last week. Good night.
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