Label: EAJ 017 (Elsie & Jack Recordings)
Format: CD + DVD Limited Edition / CD
The Scars On Her Cheek
Bring Dreams to my Eyes
Euphony is the Name of a Telephone *
The Letter Aa
How Outside are we Today
Andrew Liles contributes to tracks * on this release.
Following Daniel Padden of Volcano The Bear, there is now also a solo CD by drummer/vocalist Aaron Moore. His solo work is of an entirely different nature than Padden’s folk music. His instruments are bowed and beaten vibraphone, cymbal, chord organ, thumb piano and keyboard. The title refers to the fact that Moore tried to collaborate with Oren Ambarchi, recorded these pieces as a start, but then the collaboration never happened. Later on he reworked these pieces himself and got help from a couple of friends (Andrew Liles, Luke Fowler and Alex Neilson) continuouson a few tracks. When the name Oren Ambarchi dropped things became much clearer. The pieces Moore plays are best described as experimental ambient. Richly textured music, in which a continous flow of sounds, but it doesn’t like the kitchy synthesizer ambient that so many other produce. It’s more like the sort of ambient music produced by Ambarchi. Warm textures, subtle changes, but also with a keen ear on some sine wave like sounds that never really tease the ears, and some brittle electro-acoustic sounds, such as the short-wave like sounds in ‘How Outside Are We Today?’.
The results of the music was liked so much by filmmaker Francesco Paladino that he created a film alongside the whole CD. Blurry images of people and winter-landscapes, large close ups with lots of color filtering: it’s perhaps not the most imaginative filming but it fits the music quite well in terms of an ambient film. You put it on, and occasionally you watch bits. Less demanding than the music itself, but it works
Aaron Moore, “The Accidental”
Contributed by Scott Mckeating
Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Volcano the Bear’s ability to swing between the experimental, the traditional, energetic performance and pop structure means there are high expectations on Aaron Moore and this, his solo debut. Not only does this package include an exceptional album but the quick to purchase can also find accompanying visuals on a DVD constructed by Italian filmmaker Francesco Paladino (and an extra unreleased track).
These tracks are surprisingly coherent and realized for music that began as source material for an aborted collaboration with sometime delicate layerist Oren Ambarchi. Keeping it fairly minimal, Moore concentrates on a few elements at a time with each of these songs. This technique lets the sounds expand and easily fill out the songs’ space. Andrew Liles and Luke Fowler assisted Moore on a few of the tracks, having a fiddle about and then passing them back for further re-editing/shaping.
Ringing in the album are a half dozen swinging alarm clocks on mile long pendulums on “The Scars on her Cheek Bring Dreams to my Eyes” which bring an instant hydra-headed meditative atmosphere. These sharp edged ringing metal tones are either dreams of riding the fairground or sleeping through a city block of burglaries.
The film looks like it’s meant to be taken in a single trip with its movie style credits a fake TV static and test card ending. It may be very competently built and professional looking DVD but the imagery is best left to the imagination in this case. The slo-mo snowfall, negative work, blurring and dislocated cold imagery of a figure in blue are all fairly familiar to viewers of experimental media. It’s unfortunate then that the visuals only end up complementing the sounds on two tracks. When it does work it’s the combination of the elements and the shelter of modern life and the film adds to the music. “Three Guineas” is a brief nursery tune that becomes invested with the adult world when accompanied with a rain splattered view from a car’s windscreen. The song is transformed into a portent of doom.
“How Outside are we Today?” also benefits from a view from inside a moving vehicle, except this time its looking over and beyond a luminous segment of Glorious Technicolor orange to landscape drained of color. This track’s (the single Luke Fowler co-write) slowly constructed tone shifts into an everlasting moment of icy frozen drone infected by digi damage. There’s a brief and structureless background spider web of percussive clatter from Moore’s fellow Daniel Padden associate Alex Neilson.
The thumb piano and casual thumping movement on “Euphony is the Name of a Telephone” has a dry reverb that sits in the same cold empty room as you. The track could do with being extended by a few minutes and perhaps if Moore had originally thought of the material as finished solo work this may have ended up being the case. The extra track “Foil Bandage” is the only real musical disappointment here, a stretch of cymbal tapping waves and a fairly unremarkable rise and fall drone make me glad its stuck on the DVD and the not the album; its easier to disregard that way.