The album has been pressed as a single-sided 12” on white vinyl. On the blank side of the disc, an excerpt of a short story written by Algernon Blackwood in 1906 has been printed in black ink. The discs fits inside a custom made jacket that features a pocket made of translucent paper to allow the disc to be viewed while inside the jacket. On the front side is a full colour photograph taken by the artist. EPIC!!!
Seconds is the third and final piece in a series of recordings made by Alex Durlak in March 2010. The first was released as Catalyst (2010) on the Rural Routes series and was followed by Lowing (2010) on the Audio Gourmet net label. All three feature Durlak’s guitar playing being processed in realtime using granular synthesis techniques and were recorded in single improvised takes; a minimal approach that makes for a deep and complicated sound with little reference to its original source. Seconds is an ever changing narrative through a dark and open space, perhaps a walking tour through an abandoned factory with it’s machinery left running or the soundtrack to a time lapse video of steel being cut under an electron microscope.
Red vinyl LP w/DL and full colour card insert & exclusive download only EP…
The Eskdalemuir Harmonium is a full-length site-specific collaboration between Chris Dooks and Rutger Zuydervelt who is best known by his Machinefabriek moniker. The project is orientated around a landscape home to a vast Tibetan Buddhist temple and megalithic stone circles. The resulting album and supplementary digital package are a fusion of ‘folktronica-concrète’ homages to a dying American harmonium – currently disintegrating in a farmhouse near Lockerbie, Scotland.
The album, made over a twelve month period, includes a five minute radio documentary. In addition, Dooks’ essay and photographs of the year-long process have been stitched into a full colour montage designed by Zuydervelt – who also works as a respected graphic designer. The record itself is lovingly pressed on bright red vinyl.
Much as one visits a sick relative in a care home, The Eskdalemuir Harmonium is a form of ‘sonic palliative care’. It spills into the glitch territory of Stefan Betke’s work as Pole, while at the same time it follows a sonic ethnographic tradition akin to ‘The Radio-Ballad’ (formed by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger). It was constructed via a delicate bricolage process where spoken word, field recordings and music form more than the sum of their parts.
When Dooks composed and began to arrange the pieces on the record, which also forms part of his work at The University of The West of Scotland, he was aware of the dangers of being too close to a project, and needing a sense of social communion on the project, he contacted Rutger who agreed to co-produce the record with Dooks, giving the project a capricious and variable flavour.
The digital download of this album also includes an supplementary EP entitled Non-Linear Responses of Self-Excited Harmoniums composed from additional material from the same sessions.