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Simon Scott is, of course, the drummer in recently reconstituted shoegazers Slowdive. He has though had a long, separate career as a master of ambient bliss-outs, and here returns to Taylor Deupree's esteemed 12K label for a collaboration with friend, fellow ambient explorer and multidisciplinary artist Marcus Fischer. Although the pair discussed the album and shared sound sources beforehand, the bulk of the work was recorded on a spare day on Slowdive's whizz through the USA. Utilizing cassette loops and a plethora of additional sounds, samples and instruments, the results of the collaboration are an immersive series of deeply rich sonic textures.    

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Shape Memory by Marcus Fischer & Simon Scott
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8/10 Clinton Staff review, 20 June 2018

I'm so tired. I've just had to listen to almost the whole of the Kamasi Washington LP on only a few hours sleep and an empty stomach. Perfect then for my state of mind is this heap of ambience from Slowdive drummer Simon Scott in collaboration with Marcus Fischer. It consists of three lengthy tracks the first of which 'Ferns' sounds more than anything like a live jam with one guitar chord being flapped at whilst Scott (presumably) rattles the cymbals. It's unusual in that they manage to make such drift out music seemingly in real time rather than making a drone and sticking with it. Over its 14 minutes it twists and turns with tiny differences in tone and rhythm lurching the track away from its original moorings. 

'Thorns' meanwhile hits the sweet spot where drones and bells meet. There's a drifty tonal beauty to the drones here which undulate in and out of view whilst the pair add all manner of tinkles and twinkles to the mix. Closer 'Twigs' is more understated and crackles with a low intensity, the shifting organ drones sitting underneath a barrage of treated scrapes and found sounds. 

Perfect music to watch clouds to. I should know having spent a little too much time doing just that whilst straining for some kind of conclusion to the review.       



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