Coming out on the always lovely Sound in Silence label, this is a captivating album from Jason Sweeney an Australian composer who also records under the name Pretty Boy Crossover and was behind last years Great Panoptique Winter project with Hood's Richard Adams. This album is made up of eleven compositions comprising of gentle piano, reverbed drones and carefully layered electronic beats which will appeal to fans of Harold Budd as well as A Winged Victory For the Sullen.
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- / CD on Sound In Silence. Edition of 200 handmade and hand-numbered copies in pale brown cardboard envelope with the front cover image printed on a polaroid style photo paper and two inserts
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It’s pretty exciting to see and hear a new album from Jason Sweeney’s Panoptique Electrical, following his sold-out debut from last year, Great Panoptique Winter with Richard Adams of Hood / The Declining Winter. The record contains 11 compositions made from old, dusty pianos and carefully constructed electronic frameworks. I’m tickled pink.
Opening with the slowly unfolding, stately drama of ‘First Betrayal’, with a simple piano motif taking its own sweet time against pulses and blips conjured by some sort of alchemy I clearly don’t understand, flowing the pretty interwoven melodies of ‘Gold Leaf’ and then the gauzy web of ‘In Spite of Yourself’, it’s becoming clear this record could be a classic of its kind. That thought is underscored when ‘In A Forest Forlorn’ comes on, like a brooding Nils Frahm / Stars of The Lid / A Winged Victory For The Sullen hybrid. And then the electronic beat kicks in. Heaven.
Harold Budd is increasingly called to mind on this record, but never more clearly than on the contemplative ‘Music for Disappearing Face’; the piano melody is graceful and utterly beautiful. Continuing onward, the piano becomes more deeply sorrowful -- set against questing, cinematic and Richter-esque strings on the track ‘C Minor Spell’ and standing out sharply against a simple, static-shot electronic bedding on ‘Desire Decayed’. Distorted analogue synth takes me by surprise when it bursts through the opening of ‘A Minor Breakdown’, which loops and disintegrates like so much magnetic tape. ‘A Picture, A Landscape’ restores clarion piano melody and gently twinkling electronics to the narrative. Lovely.
I probably should add that, as ever with Sound in Silence, the CD comes in a highly limited edition in a handmade, stamped and numbered brown card envelope with a beautiful polaroid photo on the cover. It won’t be around for long...
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