Ashlar – St James’ Gardens
Ashlar is the collaborative project of Wil Bolton and Phil Edwards. Although Wil is from Essex and now living in London, he lived in Liverpool for several years, during which time he met and began working with Phil, who lived nearby. Wil Bolton is no stranger to hibernate having released two albums, Time Lapse in 2010 and Under A Name That Hides Her in 2012, as well the postcard ep Silver in 2012. In addition Wil has recorded for Home Normal, Time Released Sound, Rural Colours and Cathedral Transmissions. For his solo outings, Phil Edwards records under the PJE guise and has releases on Cathedral Transmissions, U-Cover and Twisted Tree Line. Together as Ashlar they’ve recorded one other album, Saturday Drones which came out on Time Released Sound back in 2012.
Recorded over several Saturday afternoon sessions, the duo’s second album, St James’ Gardens, began with and was inspired by field recordings made in and around the Liverpool park of the same name. This long, narrow park and cemetery nestles below ground level behind Liverpool Cathedral. Although the tracks are largely improvised, the rough sketches created by the collection of field recordings were later worked on in Wil’s nearby studio using a combination of hardware and software. The duo processed acoustic and electric guitars, electric piano and analogue synthesizer using guitar pedals, loopers and laptop to create an atmospheric collection of tracks which change the everyday sounds of a city park into something new.