DAC Crowell & Kurt Doles – s/t (Suilven, 2004)

DAC Crowell / Kurt Doles
DAC Crowell / Kurt Doles

CDr Suilven Recordings SUILVEN004 (UK, 02-2004)

01. Yankee Ridge
02. Rain Temple Garden
03. In Midsummer

A testament to the ideal that music need not be overly complex in order to be beautiful. The ambience that is conveyed in this recording is almost to the point of transcendence. Fans of minimalism and ambience should take note of this five-star production, and for those new to the genre, there is no better place to start. Destined to be a staple in the collection of every listener of electronic music. (EsoteriX, Discogs)

A little bit of history first about the label that started life in a loft at Bolton Le Sands in Lancashire. Having now upgraded to a bedroom in Edinburgh, the label is named after a Scottish Mountain. The label owner, Daniel Patrick Quinn is interested in blurring the boundaries between classical and other forms of music. I reviewed Dac Crowell’s Harmundrum in this mag a while ago and I knew what to expect. This ambient music can easily be listened too repeatedly without any prospect of it resorting to background ‘noise’. I have already fallen for the opening track Yankee Ridge which despite being recorded back in February 1997 by Dac Crowell still maintains a modern sound that is as fresh as the latest themes. Its gentle wanderings rather than meaningless meandering provide a purpose and the long notes do sustain the overall structure. What’s more is that it is very melodious and the intricate interplay between the sequences appears to create more harmonics. The much longer Rain Temple Gardens was recorded a decade ago and again could conceivably have only been composed yesterday, is build around loops and textures and is strangely beguiling. For a long and involved piece, I soon became totally engrossed and didn’t want it to finish despite lasting for over three-quarters of an hour, but you must surely be thinking that at the 36-min mark, doubts about the sustainability should enter the consciousness – It simply just does not happen! The instrumental music fits perfectly with the mental imagines derived from the title. The last track In Midsummer is the most recent track being recorded during August back in 97 and has a very deferent feel to the previous. It’s melancholy with a lazy aspect as just might expect at the end of a glorious day during the height of summer. Incidentally the first two releases are by the label owner and if they are as good as this album then they would not be out of place in a CD rack containing music from the quality end of the market. (Modern-Dance)

Deux très jolies morceaux ambient qui encadrent une pièce centrale scintillante, bourdonnante, statique mais pas que, qui dure officiellement 45 minutes au compteur même si la perception du temps devient toute subjective (on me souffle dans l’oreillette que c’est normal et que ça s’appelle un drone). Et tout le catalogue de Suilven Recordings est grosso modo du même calibre, c’est dire…

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