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The Preservation label presents Burnt Offerings, the fourth album from Brooklyn’s Padna. As Padna, Nat Hawks initially made his name in the cassette underground on the revered Stunned label with two works of pop experimentalism displaying a bustling - often boggling - and vivid imagination. Veritable joyrides in sound and style, these releases were in line with the DIY aesthetic, primitive songcraft and eclectic sonic stew pioneered by the likes of Tall Dwarfs and forwarded by Olivia Tremor Control, though with an even more exploratory skew.

Burnt Offerings is a mellower, simpler counterpart to those earlier works, but still elastic and ever expanding in its peculiar pursuit of the transcendental. Making up its sweet, song-oriented meditations through a hazy circle of intoned psychedelia, drone, bedroom folk and dub filters, these tracks roam from kaleidoscopic melody slowly loping with a whimsical way to a contrasting, shadowy elegance for murkier intent. Burnt Offerings’ oddly charming spectrum – built on acoustic guitar, vintage synths, electric violin, toys, objects and a dizzying array of effects - is by turns romantic, melancholic, curious and always full of heart.

Burnt Offerings is the sixth and final work in Preservation’s limited edition series Preservation called Circa for 2012. Only 300 copies of each release in the series will be available and will feature a design by Mark Gowing. Each design is realised using an abstract alphabet that creates an interlocking grid, determined by artist and volume number for something both fixed, random and unified across the entire series.

Grand Salvo

Slap Me In My Sleep

The Preservation label presents Slay Me In My Sleep, the sixth album from Melbourne’s Grand Salvo. Under the guise of Grand Salvo, Paddy Mann has established himself as a songwriter of unique heart and soul with a depth of lyricism matched by warm but widescreen musical vision. 2009’s Soil Creatures sealed his reputation, being his most stark and concise statement yet.

With Slay Me In My Sleep, Mann has returned to familiar territory, writing a parable as song cycle similar to his epic fairytale from 2008, Death. An evocation of time and memory, it is a tale of star-crossed lovers. A delinquent boy breaks into an old woman’s home and discovers an antique photo of a girl – he instantly falls in love. After the old woman scares him off though he eventually returns, consumed and obsessed by the girl in the photo. The old woman is waiting, and so it begins . . . It is a lavishly decorated and unabashed romantic melodrama, set to exquisite strings (cello, violin and harp), dancing woodwinds and searching brass. Within these gorgeous orchestrations tracing around the folk song idiom are intimate narratives of unqualified affection and compelling emotion.

Slay Me In My Sleep also marks the first use of an electric guitar in any Grand Salvo recording. Slay Me In My Sleep was largely recorded and co-produced in Berlin by composer Nils Frahm, who has worked extensively with similarly singular artists such as Peter Broderick and Greg Haines. His masterful piano playing appears throughout, alongside vocal contributions of Heather Woods Broderick, Laura Jean and Luluc’s Zoe Randall. After the masterful Soil Creatures, Paddy Mann has once extended himself on Slay Me In My Sleep, telling a tale of strange love with vivid detail, whimsy and beauty, in a special way only he knows how.

Sparkling Wide Pressure

Grandfather Harmonic

    The Preservation label presents Grandfather Harmonic, the new full-length album from Sparkling Wide Pressure. The alter ego of Murfreesboro, Tennessee's Frank Baugh, Sparkling Wide Pressure has drawn from a seemingly infinite well of sonic inspiration to record at an incredible rate since 2008, having his work appear on labels such as Digitalis, Stunned, Housecraft and Students of Decay.

    This transfixing entry into his weighty catalogue pinpoints Baugh's increasing fascination with song forms couched within abstract spaces. These mesmeric pieces revolve on a constant teetering between melody and abrasion, sharing kinship with classic post-punk primitivism as much as today's field of synth-wielding trance phasers.

    Through layered synth tones that uncoil like long, clear breaths and hypnotic percussion, pivotal to the essence of Sparkling Wide Pressure is Baugh's rangy guitar playing. Baugh can execute walls of enveloping ambience to encompass soft, gentle ruminations laced with smoky mood and subterfuge or take a more urgent tone, forging an otherworldly pulse that never loses the visceral thrill and pull that proves the magnetic core of this work.

    Thematically, Grandfather Harmonic revolves around Baugh's connection to his childhood home deep in the woods of in rural Tennessee and memories of his grandfather, specifically the rich tones of the harmonica he once played. In its own curious, searching way, Grandfather Harmonic is a remembrance of place and time from a truly atypical imagination..

    Grandfather Harmonic is the second work in Preservation's limited edition CD series Preservation called Circa for 2012. Only 300 copies of each release in the series will be available and will feature a design by Mark Gowing. Each design is realised using an abstract alphabet that creates an interlocking grid, determined by artist and volume number for something both fixed and random.

    The Preservation label presents Routine and War, the debut album from Sydney's The Singing Skies. The Singing Skies is the songwriting project for Sydney musician Kell Derrig-Hall. His first solo venture, Kell has previously contributed to records and live performances for the likes of Jack Ladder, Rand and Holland and Seaworthy. On R"outine And War", Kell stands front and centre with a presence built on old-school simplicity. Spare, disarming and open, these songs flower slowly with plaintive guitar at their core, often with a country lilt or a spellbinding, serpentine feel.

    Kell's stark and soulful voice is buoyed by the achingly beautiful harmonies of Lia Tsamoglu, who also provides warm, enveloping keyboard sounds throughout. Now otherwise known as pop artist Melodie Nelson, Lia is Kell's long-term partner and collaborator, the pair previously engaging in more experimental realms as Moonmilk. Also integral to Routine and War are its string arrangements - both stirring and touching - from Biddy Connor, (Laura Jean, Grand Salvo) lifting and weaving through lyrics that by turns prove haunting, piercing and gentle in spirit. Other guests include Laura Jean on piano and Laura Jean Band percussionist Jen Sholakis. Routine and War was recorded by Simon Grounds in Melbourne, who also produced the seminal early works from Underground Lovers as well as albums by Grand Salvo and Laura Jean. In balancing subtlety with passion, "Routine And War" finds a rare poignancy. It is a delicate, intimate and most affecting debut.


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