Leigh Toro has Layers of Ash released on lovely Rural Colours (RC081). For his third -- if you don’t count his Flotel releases on Expanding Records -- granular sounds are frayed round the edges to make textural distortions that highlight the contrasts and contradictions between abrasive frequencies and more subtle resonances. An edition of 100, CDr in nice card and artwork by Katie English.
9/10 Jamie Staff review, 30 August 2017
Leigh Toro doesn’t release album-length works all that often, so this is a bit of a treat. Finding a cosy nestling place this time with Rural Colours -- in Halifax, surrounded by rural Pennine idyll, also home of the perfect rhubarb crumble, so I hear -- Leigh has produced two richly expansive, long-form tracks full of contrasting textures which are widespread of sonic palette.
Apparently Toro started off Layers of Ash with a series of short, improvised sketches which he later wove together to form the two finished pieces. It’s really subtly done, too; you can barely see the stitches. You can, however, sense the meetings of sounds trying to melt or settle together -- the abrasive sounds of electronic static and distorted synth rub against smoother textures of softly reverberating chimes. If you like Celer, or Chihei Hatakeyama, or D_rradio, or Wil Bolton, you should like this.
It’s like currents stirring up sediment-rich glacial meltwaters and trying to mix into the saline solution of an open ocean. Although in this case, the laws of physics are abandoned, defied: the heavier elements in the mix refuse to sink; they become transposed, reversed, mutate into lighter frequencies with rise to the surface and float. By the end there is a sense of utter stillness to the sounds, which will hypnotise and transport you to another place. Well, I don’t know about you but I’m currently somewhere in the Baltic.
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- Layers of Ash by Leigh Toro
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