Mark Templeton returns with the third instalment in his Heart trilogy. Following on the heels of Scotch Heart (2011) and Jealous Heart (2013), Gentle Heart is a fitting closure to this story, an album filled with bending, yearning phrases – sounds that feel like they are actually speaking to you from another time, as if they’re being piped into the room where you’re listening today.
There is a continued use of elements that hearken to tape machines and older technology combined with acoustic instruments and modern studio techniques and sensibilities, squarely centered in the contemporary moment. Loops stumble and fall off their track, then regain their footing, breaking the concentration enough to remind you that someone is here and paying attention. In both structure and emotion, Templeton captures time in a novel way – connecting points that don’t immediately lend themselves to such a connection, deftly balancing qualities that are both haunting and inviting. This music is one of imagined memory, capturing moments that never happened, but could have.
An example of this can be seen in how the track titles suggest a sense of Western tropes, but the music is anything but, not intentionally misleading the would-be listener but rather nodding to a set of ideas and images that drive the artist’s intentions in this album, and through his interpretations the tracks become far removed from any assumption of what these words or images may mean. It speaks to what is happening in the background and lets the listener think about how one point moves to another. It is not a strict form. It is a flexible guide that allows the music to touch things that it doesn’t hold on to tightly – playing with mood and tone while veering into its own direction.
Much in this vein Gentle Heart closes with two pieces that make one think of a vast prairie, one that has been rearranged in a computer and put back together – not to make it more digital but to make it new through the perspective of today. Twangy guitar strums filled with hisses and fuzz roll into clipped phrases that are nostalgic in their specific way, a modern imagining of a past time that may hold a sense of simple peacefulness, of space, of a long view that goes forever. -Ezekiel Honig
It’s raining outside. The faint noise of the rain in the trees perfectly couches the moment I start listening to this album in melancholic anticipation…
The album, since you’re asking, is A Cradle In The Bowery, the first solo record from Chicago’s own, the brilliant, Zelienople; going under his given name, Matt Cristensen.
Quadtych Volume One presents Parts One and Two of Cam Deasʼ colossal Quadtych for 12 string guitar, a four part piece spanning over 70 minutes in total.
Recorded in one evening at Londonʼs Roundhouse in December 2010 by Jack Allett, though over a year and a half since its initial sketches, it is his first composed work for 12 string guitar since the 2009 split tour LP with Spoono/Jack Allett on Blackest Rainbow.
‘Alive’ is the first vinyl outing from Keith Wood’s Hush Arbors since his split 7″ with Jerusalem and the Starbaskets on The Great Pop Supplement back in 2008…
Hush Arbors is the project of Mr Keith Wood, a good friend of Blackest Rainbow, who has also played in Wooden Wand, Six Organs of Admittance, Zodiacs, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and with Thurston Moore. Hush Arbors ever evolving sound pretty much encapsulates everything he does with these other fine projects, but Keith has definitely got his own thing going on with his fine song writing skills, whether its delivered with his beautiful acoustic playing or wild electric shredding.
Donato Wharton is a composer based in London, UK. He has previously released three records for the Manchester and Berlin record label, City Centre Offices. The most recent of these was the 2006 release, ‘Body Isolations’.
‘A White Rainbow Spanning The Dark’ therefore marks his first publicly released work in five years and his first for Serein…