A match made in heaven is tone drone genius Sarah Davachi and weirdo label Recital Program. Having previously appeared on compilations put out by Sean McCann's imprint, Davachi now goes full-length with Let Night Come On Bells End the Day, here retreating from her instrumentally expansive All My Circles Run with a return to compositions on Mellotron and electronic organ. These glacial hymns will be well-known to fans; newcomers should come bliss out inside of them.
LP £22.99 R45 LP
LP on Recital Program. Edition of 600 copies, incl. three 9"x9" art prints, CD version of the album included.
CD £16.49 R45 CD
CD on Recital Program. Limited edition of 250 copies with gold foil printing on cover. Incl. extended/complete version of “Hours in the Evening” (17 min).
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- Let Night Come On Bells End The Day by Sarah Davachi
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Those of you who frequently scroll through the hallowed halls of Norman Records dot com may know that I am a fan of Sarah Davachi. Initially proving herself to be one of the best tone droners out there, sustaining long, immense pieces on her synth equipment, she’s since released a slew of records that can be gorgeously and dramatically cliff-hanging in their slowness; Elaine Radigue is the most obvious of comparisons, in that movement is crucial, her music glacial rather than still. Her last major work, ‘All My Circles Run’, saw her experiment with different instrumental set-ups, including drones for strings and voice; this follow-up, for Sean McCann’s wonderful and surreal Recital label, sees her return to Mellotron and organ, but it is yet another surprise entry in her catalogue.
Much like ‘Vergers’, many of these pieces open like dusted off relics; their immensely quiet beginnings make them sound as if you’ve just found them and are unwrapping layers to get to them. As they develop, Davachi reveals a sonic architecture of both reverence and comfort, her organ pieces sounding gorgeous rather than stern, like a church on a day off; Aine O’Dwyer’s ‘Music For Church Cleaners’ collection comes to mind, demystifying a haughty and cerebral music in a way that makes it feel instead like a home. Certain tracks pulse with subdued rhythm, suggesting a kind of calm, solitary movement that has rarely appeared in Davachi’s work before. I listened to the second track, “Mordents”, sat on a train in the middle of a rainstorm, and it was perfect: the subtle movements, playing against the abated threat of something ominous, put me into a lovely half-sleep.
Davachi releases a lot of records, but they never feel unwarranted: sometimes she’s honing a particular craft; at other times she’s transposing that craft for new timbres and palettes. On this record, it sounds like she’s using the organ to make a music that’s been living in her head; her ability to make her signature longform drones remains, but there’s something different in the conceptual roots of this work -- like she’s using what she knows to speak to an entirely new setting. At times, it treads entirely new ground; nearly melodic, almost conversational. Once again, it is nothing but essential.
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