After a couple of albums on Home Normal, Ultimae, and Voxxov british ambient artist James Murray returns to his own Slowcraft label with this gorgeous limited CD. Slow unfolding ambience that has the ethereal uplifting qualities of Brian Eno’s Apollo, chords and notes are near impossible actually grasp.
8/10 Jamie Staff review, 26 June 2017
James Murray follows his icily haunting ‘Killing Ghosts’ release of four months ago on Home Normal, with this ethereal little electro-acoustic beauty of a CD on his own Slowcraft label. Floods Returned is ostensibly a re-working of his sold-out 2012 classic Floods -- with some extra new material bringing the collection together -- wherein Murray once again visits the flood-plains of his native Wales. We get it James, it’s a wet place. It’s also lushly green, and the pieces on this album reflect that; the valleys nestling between ice-sculpted rock formations and clear, tumbling waterfalls.
The ambience unfolds glacially on this record; heavily delayed and looped guitar is placed just so to allow the interweaving of the tenderest of electro-acoustic sounds -- distantly plinking piano, soft beds of processed keyboards -- to flow and bubble like the gentlest of running mountain streams. The sonics on ‘Floods (Surface)’ build teasingly then peel away to slowly reveal what could very well be human voices, to ghostly effect. ‘Every Ringing Bell (Riverbed)’ treats the spectral sounds to tinkling bells, eked out painstakingly alongside cello / organ to produce an eerie, almost worshipful variant on a lost Eno track circa ‘Apollo’; such is the hypnotic nature of these particular atmospheres. Impressive.
Then there are the patiently droning organs on ‘Small Gestures (Becalmed)’ which reveal a deceptively simple structure and yet this melodically becalming music is beautiful and will creep up on you and make you cry. Probably. Also, you’ll like this if you’re a fan of Loscil. Thanks for reading.
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