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Cuts

A Gradual Decline

    Cuts, the audio-visual project of composer and filmmaker Anthony Tombling Jr, releases his debut album ‘A Gradual Decline’ through Village Green Recordings. Available on double vinyl and CD with printed inners featuring artwork photography taken by Cuts himself in Iceland.  

    Summoning 11 widescreen, electronic compositions in response to global political and environmental breakdown, ‘A Gradual Decline’ addresses the planet’s current fragility using actual field recordings of ice collapsing from glaciers. Weaving these momentary, dramatic events directly into the DNA of the music, Cuts has sculpted rhythmic elements out of geological transformation.

    A stark sense of urgency permeates ‘A Gradual Decline’. At times chaotic and alarming, the album’s siren-like tones and volatile, stuttered beats converge with synthetic gales of melody and glacial percussion. Elsewhere, the sense of precariousness is subtler, enveloped in gaseous chords that swell and evaporate, ethereal and dense guitars and distant vocals – all hallmarks of previous Cuts material - here honed into a concise, conceptual set.

    Cuts

    A Slow Decay

      Cuts’ music has been described as “diving-belldeep growls to sky-scraping, synthetic peals” by Crack Magazine, with The 405 noting “clear influences from the powerful build of Mogwai tracks to the My Bloody Valentine-esque use of distortion and distant vocals.” On Cuts’ ‘EP1’ released by Invada, The Quietus wrote “the buzz and hum of fed-back electronics get underscored by the undoubtedly sinister-feeling creep of industrial percussive mechanisms.”

      A stark sense of urgency permeates the music on ‘A Slow Decay’ - sometimes chaotic and alarming, with siren-like melodies, volatile, stuttered beats and synthetic gales of melody that wrap themselves around glacial percussion. Elsewhere the sense of precarity is subtler, enveloped in gaseous chords that swell and evaporate, or ethereal and dense guitars and distant vocals - all hallmarks of previous Cuts material, here honed into a concise conceptual set.

      Following the recent release of the "Exist" EP, Cuts - composer and filmmaker Anthony Tombling Jr - releases "Dream Voyager", with remixes from shoegaze legends Slowdive and Village Green labelmate Ben Chatwin.

      The original’s electric hum, pounding drums and indistinct vocals are reassembled by shoegaze heavyweights Slowdive and Village Green labelmate Ben Chatwin. The former remould the tune inline with their image by adding a pulsating heartbeat and swathes of atmospheric guitar while on the flip Chatwin transforms the tune almost beyond recognition, into a rumbling monster decked with cascading analogue synths and distorted percussion.

      Electronic duo Soft Error release their debut album ‘Mechanism’ through Village Green, recorded at Valgeir Sigurðsson’s renowned Greenhouse Studio in Reykjavik, Iceland.

      A largely electronic pairing, Soft Error are otherwise known as Tim and Rupert, both of whom have musical backgrounds in dance music / DJ culture and composition for film, theatre and TV respectively. Soft Error, however, represents a thrilling new artistic beginning rather than being simply another musical project.

      The album offers a fresh and singular brand of musical intrigue by reaching back and forward simultaneously, drawing from the innovative, propulsive thrum of 1970s Krautrock and the grainy textures and tonalities of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop on one hand and the symphonic, futuristic soundscapes of composers like Cliff Martinez, John Carpenter and Jon Hopkins on the other.

      Dead Light was created after Anna Rose Carter and Ed Hamilton moved from London to a quiet, remote space in the countryside. The migration out of the sprawling metropolis to their new rural refuge was a transition that significantly impacted them both and one that continues to turn and shift under the ambivalence of change, loss and new beginnings.

      The reality of this new setting is an apposition between the quaint and serene nature of their new life and the dislocation from the lives, people, places and culture that they left behind; two conflicting sentiments that co-exist in a somehow beautiful, bitter-sweet relationship. Dead Light is the tension between these two states, a textured and imperfect dream world.

      Recorded at Pie Corner between September 2014 and May 2016, the eponymously titled debut album from Dead Light is a tender, ambient exploration of hope, escape, tension and isolation. Rooted in traditional instrumentation and a handmade approach to effects and synthesis, Dead Light’s music draws upon classical, ambient, pop and electro-acoustic influences. Waves of melancholy stretch through every track, with slow yet expressive melodies that sing from tape-looped cello motifs and an old close-mic’d piano that Anna’s grandfather gave her, yet the feeling of hope never seems to be far away.

      Distant and reflective yet intimate and emotive, Dead Light’s sound is characterised by a plethora of analogue artefacts ranging from tape delays (via daisy chained reel to reel machines), homemade synthesisers, old Russian microphones and 1950s tube pre-amps, as well as contact mics and hydrophones.

      Elements of their textured sound can be attributed to their experimentation with treated tape (warped in various ways via prolonged exposure to sunlight, vinegar solutions, microwaves and washing machines), hydrophones (placed in ice trays and allowed to freeze and thaw) and most noticeably, piano preparations (hand-muting strings, screwdrivers, coins, felt, using the soundboard as a plate reverb, etc). Other experimental techniques can be found in ‘Sleeper’, for example, which utilises the layering of looped and treated voice, or in ‘Broods And Waits’ which uses experimental timbres of stringed instruments and drone-like backdrops.

      ‘Falling In’, the first track they wrote after their escape from London, is a great example of their sound, involving the textural exploration of Anna’s old piano coupled with Ed’s emotive tape treatments and loops.

      11 tracks in total, the ‘Dead Light’ album is an exploration of ambivalence, a sonic ethnography that contemplates a personal narrative of transition and identity. Joining the likes of Matt Dunkley, Ben Chatwin and John Matthias, Dead Light’s first album is released on the London-based Village Green label.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      CD Info: 4 panel shrinkwrapped digipack CD.

      Ellis Island Sound are Pete Astor (The Loft, Weather Prophets, Wisdom Of Harry) and David Sheppard (State River Widening, Snow Palms).

      ‘Regions’ is the duo’s third album since their inception and it has already been described as “Afro-Krautrock” and “Teutonic High Life”.

      It is possible to detect the influence of Jean Bosco Mwende or King Sunny Ade’s guitars, along with polyrhythmic ensemble force of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and T-Funk-period Talking Heads.

      Sometime Radiohead collaborator John Matthias adds vocals to five tracks, coming on like an opiated James Brown channelling Damo Suzuki.


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