A collaboration between electronic musician Will Ward and Portico Quartet member Jack Wyllie, Xoros began life as an intriguing experiment to see if the saxophone could form the basis of a proper techno record, with synthesisers and field recordings padding it out. Xoros is therefore a highly intriguing and sensual experience, emphasising texture and headspace.
Vinyl LP £13.99 TRNT0004
LP on Truant Recordings.
Xoros is a collaboration between musicians Will Ward and Jack Wyllie that has the intriguing MO of "using saxophone to create the textural landscape of a fully functioning techno record". The result is a meticulously-wrought ambient record with flavours of IDM and drone.
The album was apparently constructed by layering hundreds of tiny sonic fragments. This means the album's sound is something akin to a slow, sonic avalanche, at once whole and entirely separate. Never is this better displayed on the gorgeous, seething, squalling crescendo of 'The Gift'; it's probably the album's best song.
The use of saxophone is a wise choice that rescues it the album from being a digital mélange. Unleashed unwisely, saxophone has the feel of a loud and uninvited guest, but it's used to great effect on this record. It's mostly beatless, save for the odd flutter of clucking percussion and gentle arpeggios that round everything off nicely. There's also a persistent warm hissing sound running throgh 'Xoros' that lends an organic edge by summoning the feel of a dusty tape recording.
Although I'm still unsure where the album's relationship to a "fully fuctioning techno record" is hidden, 'Xoros' is still an interesting exploration of the midpoint between the organic and the synthesized.
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