Husband and wife Chris and Jill Tate are musical duo At. Their debut album, One consists of music that uses field recordings as the starting point. The recordings were made whilst traveling over the past year or so in places as disparate as the west coast of Scotland, Chicago, Illinois and in their kitchen in Newcastle. It was their intention to capture the feeling and ambience of the original field recordings in the finished songs.
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The hardest album to locate both in flesh and digital reality, ‘One’ is the work of At, two words that are not at all common. This infuriatingly becalmed husband-wife duo are crafting the kind of IDM-speckled ambient that uses field recordings to remember all the movements that happen within a still landscape. It’s not a perfect droning picture they paint, but rather one with small melodies, whooshing flourishes and a slight penchant for musical drama.
‘One’ collates the softness of neo-classical with the kind of IDM beats that sound like Ableton being rested down on a pillow, essentially traversing the waters Spheruleus did earlier this year with ‘Aires’; chillout music that exists in little vignettes. Listen to the backdrop, though, and you’ll hear the duo’s true intentions: guitars that tremble as if tightroping over skyscrapers -- played with post-rock’s marvelous build -- and ambient recordings that howl like the wind. The beats suggest stoned out bliss, but ‘One’ is far bigger than it wants you to believe it is.
Listening to 'One' is kind of like holidaying alone on an empty beach: it's blissful in spite of the vast ocean opening up in front of you. Kindly electronics, naturalistic found sounds and wailing guitars: it’s been done before, but At make a sleepy kind of grandeur.
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