Cambridge based multi instrumentalist Simon Scott has releases on 12K, Miasmah and As International, as well as being the drummer in Slowdive. Floodlines was recorded live at Cafe Oto in London, and plays on themes regarding nature and technology. Washes of warm noise and manipulated field samples, definitely check out if you like Fennesz, or Thomas Köner.
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- Floodlines by Simon Scott
7/10 Robin Staff review, 20 June 2016
As expected, the drummer from Slowdive eventually metamorphosed into a drone orienteer, so if you haven’t already, I’m going to ask you to update your musical rolodex. Take your knowledge of Simon Scott as a shoegaze rhythm section and grow him back into life as a man of field recordings, gentle ambient noise and widespread crescendos. It’s what he would’ve wanted (just in case of any confusion, he's still alive-Clint). ‘Floodlines’, his latest CD for Touch, is a single-track tone poem about the micromanagement of nature: the water overflows and we the people come in to keep it chill.
A recording of a particularly sturdy Cafe Oto performance, ‘Floodlines’ at first seems a basic proposition: slowly climaxing ambient music that begins at near silence and develops into a hazy mix in which field recordings are overwhelmed by scattered noise. Volume increases, is what I’m basically saying, but Scott occasionally makes his sounds compartmental: synth glitches blast through as if from a new Fennesz record, while animals chirping under sauntering heat can be heard clearly under the bouts of hiss, recalling the rather impartial way Dolphins Into the Future document ecosystems.
As an ecological art piece, the writing’s on the wall: Scott’s sound is a blend of the natural and the artificed, and captures the sounds made by both, together. It could be seen as a an observation on people trying to maintain the consequences of their own environmental impact -- the louder, droning textures often feel like a metaphor for the sound pollution inherent with site work, and the sounds of trucks backing up make such moments literal. This record is lots of things at once -- it can be watery, busy, pastoral and industrial, but it seems fitting that none of these can be separated from one another.
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