You Were Always An Island opens with a downpour of rain. Staring out at its constant fall, listeners can only wait for it to stop. The music’s already waiting: for someone, and for a moment that will never arrive…
Alaskan Tapes aids in the clear-up operation, helping to cleanse the air if not the growing solitude. Quiet drones and sullen strings dispel the rain, but it lingers in the streets, overflowing around the mouth of its gutter. The music has been invaded by a longing which spreads like a tendril of ink in clear water, bruising the atmosphere with its purple, sour colour.
An event shakes the soul with the magnitude of an earthquake. In this case, the cruelty of distance and the greater cruelty of war which separates a couple. As a man leaves to fight, his beloved has no other choice but to wait for his return. She sends unanswered prayers. His absence grows longer with every sunset. Unable to wait and growing increasingly anxious, she sets off to look for him, a lighthouse offering a faint lifeline in the gathering gloom, only to sadly learn of his death. The separation is permanent – death us do part.
Two tone / 4 panel hand made letter-pressed Somerset cotton CD covers, glass mastered CD, 12 x hand drawn images by the artist printed on luxury Gesso card (size A6) / 1 x vintage (Circa 1890 – 1919) glass negative / patchouli scent. All of the above rests inside stitched / sealed glassine bags, individually hand numbered on stamped tags. Download code
As a sort of pantheist, or at least an artist who finds great stories hiding in the vast visual subtleties of nature – Subtle Trees is a classical music collage as much as it is an homage to classical music. It’s core is created through sounds gathered in the owl hours by sampling ancient instruments whose cores were derived from the trees of nature. These sounds were layered like lichen on an ancient pantheistic sculpture.
With The Rules of Another Small World, M. Ostermeier has arrived at an elegant voice – otherworldly and strangely beautiful, much like the desolate Taiwanese San-Zhr Pod Village gracing the album cover.
While elements of electroacoustic, modern classical, jazz, glitch, drone, ambient, and even lounge weave in and out of the record’s eleven compositions, The Rules of Another Small World is the converse of an eclectic collection of songs.
Inside the book: 36-pages from Internet monsters Everything Is Terrible!; interviews with musician Robert Scott (the Clean, the Bats) and writer Amelia Gray; music profiles of S. Fla’s finest, The Jacuzzi Boys, and UK ’90s cult band Disco Inferno; fiction by Stacey Levine; photographs by Ted Barron and Gracie Remington; art by Saul Chernick, Pavel Tchelitchew, Cassie Ramone, Ilyas Ahmed.
This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.