art of the memory palace

Arriving soon via the beloved Static Caravan imprint shortly a very special release due to hit stores in a limited cassette pressing of just 100 copies on Record Store Day. ‘this life is but a passing dream’ is the debut release from Art of the Memory Palace an Anglo Scottish meeting of minds between Raz Ullah and Andrew Mitchell both sharing an adoration for vintage analogue keys and for the craft of ethereal tonalities. Across these nine celestial callings the duo have lushly conceived a both beguiling and enchanting release that simply oozes in such crystal cut out of step artistry you’d rightly be cooing and adoring had you eyed upon its wares the finders keepers or wonderful sound hallmark stamp of excellence branded upon its being.  A divine dream weaved tapestry of astral gliding cosmicalia ushers throughout, hints of the floaty raptures found amid the legendary canons of Tangerine Dream, Goblin, Komeda and La Dusseldorf are subtly teased and echoed between the groove lines to coalesce and sublimely surrender to the turn of hazily glazed monastic murmurs swathed in a tropical lunar carousels to forge out something seductively ethereal and aglow in nocturnal noir. From the moment ‘sun blinded capsule memory haze’ ushers into view you instinctively get the feeling that you are passing through some unseen celestial veil unto which what lies behind is one of those most rare and treasured moments where a records ability to lend some form of escapism to the listener is richly rewarded by the sublime greeting of a graceful symphonia that arrests far more than the simply functional ear to sound relationship and instead has you of the sense of being touched by something far more resonant as though a visitation. For what Art of the Memory Palace do is in some way a purge of the rough edges found lying in your record collection for here elements of lounge, 60’s noir, 70’s library troves, a seasoning of star travelling kraut cadets and smoky chill tripped sophistication congregate to form a lush magicalia hooked upon the stuff that stars form from, in short a divine astral ride to which the aforementioned opener calibrates the flight settings swathed in arpeggio dimples and an orbital array of dream weaved whispered elegance. References are easy, there’s the minimalist lunar folk of ‘valley exit jets’ hinting at a readily more subdued and vulnerable dark captain light captain while ‘the ghost of benno ohnesorg (part 1)’ imagines futuristic winter lands filtered through the glacial aural viewfinder shared by a ‘blade runner’ in situ Vangelis and John Carpenter which mid way through suddenly stops in its tracks about turns and re-emerges kissed and shimmered in a romantically lulling half-light that owes to the more mellow moments found on Grails landmark ‘doomsdayer’s holiday’. Somewhere else the stately and spectral soft tonalities of ‘the Ancient Mariner’s Burden’ dreamily dissipate amid the hush of centuries old chorals as they weave their silent cosmic folk siren song to sweetly morph into the wave formed Mancini mosaic that is ‘Doxologized’.  Time tripping back to early 70’s ‘la Lumiere’ is blessed with more than a knowing nod to former Static Caravan acolyte fortdax albeit here eyed rewiring lost John Barry spy motifs and sculpturing them into orbital carousels, though all said and done forced to choose a favourite you can’t do no worse that the simply sumptuous electro pop swoon of ‘Waalhaven’ – an effervescent honey kissed with the airless seduction of a lovelorn star hopping Fuxa cutting shapes upon a celestial Studio 54 floor which leaves the parting ‘this life is but a passing dream’ to return you home to the cold comfort of reality serenely cruise controlling the navigatory circuits in sleepy headed willowy bliss trails. Essential.   


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1 Response to art of the memory palace

  1. Pingback: art of the memory palace | the sunday experience

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