Benoît Pioulard & Sean Curtis Patrick unite for an LP of eerie shipwreck electronics. We mean that literally - Avocationals draws inspiration from the Great Lakes shipwrecks, of which it is estimated that there have been about 6,000 over the past few hundred years. Unsurprisingly you’re looking at the likes of James Leyland Kirby, Stars Of The Lid and William Basinski when it comes to Avocationals’ related listening.

Limited Vinyl LP £21.99 BNSD 032LP

LP + insert on Beacon Sound. Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll. Limited edition of 300 copies.

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Avocationals by Benoît Pioulard & Sean Curtis Patrick
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 Will 03 May 2019

I love albums like this one. It's heartening to hear works of art that are almost self-consciously academic in their focus. 'Avocationals' by Benoît Honoré Pioulard and Sean Curtis Patrick is one such album. It is an ambient album 'inspired by the historical shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. A quick glance at Wikipedia will show the scale of the disasters that happened throughout the 20th century. In fact, I would recommend reading these Wikipedia entries while you listen to this album. The quietness, almost bluntness of 'Lost in a Storm Off of Cleveland' or 'Wreckage Found Near Bayfield Ontario Canada' is a perfect companion to the gentle, sad refrains that percolate through this album. This is why, as well as being magisterial and grand, 'Avocationals' carries with it a profound sense of melancholy and mourning. The first note you hear on opener 'Zenava' bears resemblance to a trumpet blown in mourning, akin to 'The Last Post'. Every sound brings to mind so viscerally the various components of shipwreck. There's the deep bass drones that recall rolling waves, every sound is mired in a kind of audio fog, and each track is carried along with a sense of inevitability. Similarly, many of the sounds on this record are not dissimilar to foghorns (especially on 'Cabot'); this is perhaps a direct reference those sounded in vain before the impending wreckage. 

'Avocationals' is a fantastic album, ambient or otherwise. It's art that interacts with history and displays an un-stuffy awareness of both tragedy and the human condition. 

8/10 K herbert Customer rating (no review), 1st May 2019


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