Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Jasper Leyland – Wake (Carbon Series Volume 5)

Jasper Leyland’s latest album Wake is in my position, well has been for about a week now, thank you Jono for the hand delivery now that’s what I call good service. Wake is ambient bliss from beginning to end. In a week where I have been listening to the Deerhunter leak and Flying Lotus lots Jasper Leyland’s album has probably had the most spins. It’s addictive and just brilliantly relaxing.

The artwork is cool too, it comes in a see through case that that you can eject the CD out of, and the CD is gold and black which is damn cool. An acetate sheet has the artwork on it, which is truly lo-fi and organic just like the music. I showed it to my mum and she said to me, ‘It’s like it’s not even there’ well she was half right the CD was actually in the stereo at the time, but she had a point the artwork is all see through and barley there. This reflects the music in some ways, so I think I have just managed to make her sound cleverer than she came off in the original comment. This leads me nicely to the sounds.

Wake is seven tracks of sublime noise the equivalent to laying in a field surrounded by natures quite still and minute sounds. The music reflects the beautiful countryside around my way where Jasper also lives, I don’t know how much inspiration he takes from this area but it brings images of the little oasis’s of calm that can be found in rural North Yorkshire. Like the aquatic number The Low Falls, which reminds me of little waterways and pools hidden in the valleys of the moors. Scrapes and plucks of stings can be heard over field recordings of air and well allsorts. I love to play this on headphones and play the spot the sound game, as its full of wonderful recordings of found sounds. Squeaky wheels, scraped stuff, white noise of the air and reverberations of random spaces and areas all feature at some point.

Charcoal Weir has a sombre repeated guitar note that resonates around you as little glitches of crackling noise and hits of xylophone sounding instruments play. Bird sounds and general nature sounds along with maybe a distant car sound are wonderful moments. A warm synth pad takes over about half way through and makes you feel like your laying inside the song like its an open field.

Gallanach, Rest has the sound of what I imagine to be a small chickpea rolling round a plastic cup on a bed of forest wind. Another warm sounding synth drone builds up the layers. Some of these tracks remind me of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient works if they were deconstructed and beat-less: A palimpsest of sound, an ambient bliss.

Harrow Fare Jasper has a love of glitchy, rattly sounds from what I can gather as this track has some beauties too. Layers of what almost sounds like organ build with the rattle, as it gets more frantic. Then it all breaks down to a calmer existence again. Beautiful synth sounds breath there way into an adorable guitar riff, I say riff it’s the closes we get and it has echoes of Bon Iver in it to. This tune is going to get placed next to some that in a mix no doubt. This is one of my favourite tracks on Wake.

Avocet Verse has more plucky little guitar and string parts that sound pretty melancholy and relaxing. There are reversed loops and what sounds like someone generally pottering about in the background too. I wonder what their doing?

Taken is up on his web page for free download and its brilliant another standout track. Plinky plonks of synth mix with guitar plucks and gentle breaths. Bird song is in the back ground along with some scraping white noise. All these tunes could be in well-shot cut scenes to films that Gus Van Sant makes.

Durée is the closer to the album with little whistles and atmospheric fuzz subtlety layering into more subtle scrapes and sound. It’s a minimal ambient masterpiece and a lesion on how less can be more.

I’m very proud of Jono for making this album its beautiful and it’s ace that it got some mad props from Boomkat the main go to record store online for all things experimental in the field of electronics and beyond. This could well be the ambient album of the year for me so far, its more addictive than Hammock and the only other one that comes close is S’No Beats the DJ mix by Pualy P but that doesn’t count I suppose. You can find Wake
here its on 12x50 Recordings and check out more from his myspace too. His artist website is here.

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