Madeleine Cocolas spent a whole year under the confines of a ‘Fifty Two Weeks’ project, producing one track every week. Now she’s condensed the sprawling results into one record, Cascadia. It’s a strong collection of stately ambience, built from piano, strings and electronics. Clear vinyl LP on the Future Sequence label.
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- Cascadia by Madeleine Cocolas
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 22 January 2016
This record is the result of an ambitious voyage to produce a track a week for a whole year. Just try to imagine the pressure at week 50. You want to celebrate the winter solstice, but you have to make a beautiful piece of neo-classical ambient. You want to take a holiday into the deep jungles of South America, but you have to make a beautiful piece of neo-classical ambient. I’ve got this far, I can’t stop now! Just 1 more week to go. No, Michael, I don’t want to come round for a drink.
Madeleine Cocolas is probably nowhere near as irritable as that last paragraph would have you believe; the music on here is totally relaxed, fragile and with an inch of yearning. Pianos tell tales that Nils Frahm would break down to, little winding phrases of heartfelt tinkles. There’s an edge of Clint Mansell’s Moon soundtrack here too. Synths fizz, chug and sparkle atop assorted environmental recordings - turns out she was probably making music wherever she went. Well, I guess you can’t take a synth into the deep jungle. She also managed to weave her voice into subtle crevices, quite quiet and distant, reminiscent of Grouper.
Oh how rude I’ve realised that I haven’t given Cocolas a proper introduction - she is an Australian classically trained composer who has moved to Seattle, befriended Rafael Anton Irisarri (a clever move, for his ridiculous production & mastering skills) and done this beautiful thing here. And you want to hear it.
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