various – ‘…..and darkness came’

Another release we spied on band camp is a formidable gathering of talent under the collective set title ‘…and darkness came’ put out by the headphone commute imprint. Admittedly this has been straying around for a year or so, all profits going to the aid of victims of Hurricane Sandy. That said there’s no fear of this collection ever reaching its shelf life not when the sounds within are coded timeless classicism. A formidable set and as with the ‘bedroom cassette masters’ release mentioned elsewhere this missive a little too unwieldy to give individual attention to all the featured tracks given its comprised of 87 selections. Sound wise though an absolute treat for those of you who tuned into hibernate’s ‘paws for thought’ sampler – mentioned last missive out – for like that outing ‘…and the darkness’ amasses an enviable roster of talent currently plying their trade on the neo classical / ambient / sound art frontiers, familiar names figure – david newlyn, absent without leave, maps and diagrams, antonymes, loscil, peter Broderick, olafur arnalds, olam mill, clem leek, max richter, offthesky, hauschka, james murray and more besides – all of whom have featured one time or another in these musings. With such an extensive gathering of talent it’s a little difficult deciding what to mention and what not to mention for fear of putting noses out of joint, therefore the easiest and less argumentative way might be to mention the short and the longest cuts first and work outwards from there. Longest track by the odd second or two is black swan’s simply immense ‘of land and water’ a glorious widescreen slice of bitter sweet euphoria that to these trusted ears sounds not unlike some sweetly humbled epitaph for the end of days, all whispering snow bursts and droning sheens of celestial sirens equipped as though a cosmic intertwining of flying saucer attack and my bloody valentine types in slow motion rapture. As to the shortest cut, unless I’m very much mistaken that honour is David Wenngren’s for the asking with the mellowing elegance that is ’short composition #2’ utilising space, tone and poise its silent pauses and melancholic trailing force you to draw up close to tearfully pry at its crushed fragile intimacy. One of the sets most evocative works is fabrizio paterlini’s ’there’s a light we might see’ with its softly murmured string shivers and lilting pastoral key braids a forlorn shy eyed beauty peers upon the final moments tranquilly locked in a frozen moment of what might have been. Elsewhere ’sweet silence’ by Takahiro Kido is a lulling slice of shimmer toned orbs sweetly wooing the vast land heavens while Simon Scott – could that be the one and the same Mr Scott who at one time figured in Slow dive – actually features here twice – for a solo cut ’for betty’ and alongside Tomoyoshi Date, Corey Fuller and Marcus Fischer on ’quartet’ for a spot of chamber ambience which sound wise translates like ghostly apertures echoing amid the stilled landscapes. Others that serve are Lawrence English whose ’coda for a fading timeline’ is a beautifully monochrome suite that sounds like the opining distress call of a long since ceased to be output on the far edges of the solar system while waves on canvas buck the solace and sadness party line for a divinely joyous last hurrah on ’endless summer’ amid a flighty flurry of key pastorals. Edging it in the favourite moment of the set stakes Boy is Fiction’s frost glazed ’sunlight through glance’ takes some shifting, a crystalline cinematic cutie tempered in a forlorn tenderness and grafted upon a Brontean noir coda that caresses and cools with the quiet majesty you’d imagine resulting from a studio summit meeting gathering together Carpenter, Vangelis and Robert Miles.

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