Ellen Arkbro recorded For Organ And Brass on a particular kind of rare church organ which allows for certain harmonic relationships: indeed, we are into advanced microtonal territory with these two compositions. The long tones of the organ and the brass trio Zinc & Copper intertwine to create potent “slow and reduced blues music” (in the words of Arkbro). For Organ and Brass is released by Subtext.
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A short shout out for a very good record, here: Ellen Arkbro has made a wonderfully doomy and ancient-sounding drone record that will appeal to fans of blaring organs, big stoical buildings and huge dread. The informatively titled ‘For Organ and Brass’ is one for fans of Aine O’Dwyer's organ improvisations and those who love to hear people hold chords like they’re heavy weights that need pushing back. It’s a record that focuses in on the sustains, eeking emotive implications out of the short changes that happen between the long sounds.
There’s also plenty in the way of harmonic investigation, as Arkbro attempts to weight brass sounds (supplied by trio Zinc & Copper) against the organ, following the record’s monolithic opener with “Three”, which subs out the organ for a different sound performing the same seismic ritual. It’s a massive drone record that feels, despite its sparsity, highly theatrical.
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- For Organ and Brass by Ellen Arkbro
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