Label: Die Stadt (DS106)
Format: 7" in gatefold sleeve
Limited to 500 copies. Packaged in gatefold cover with printed inner sleeve.Reviews:
Written by John Kealy
Sunday, 06 April 2008
This 7″ only release sees Andrew Liles form yet another collaborative unit, this time with Clodagh Simonds’ wonderful (and ever changing) group. Established Fovea Hex approaches to song recur only to be almost completely dashed aside with new approaches to their work. That so much can happen on two shorts sides of vinyl is not very surprising considering how epic Simonds’ previous EPs with her group have been. With Liles’ sonic alchemy, the results are breathtaking.
The A-side contains “Every Evening,” which sounds as expected. The ethereal ambiences paired with the clear, striking piano makes a glorious backdrop for Simonds’ vocals. Lyrically it continues a stream of thought that began on “That River” and flowed through “While You’re Away” from Fovea Hex’s Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent EPs. Stars shine and rivers meet the sea in an almost Joycean expression of the spectacular amidst the normality of life.
On “Gone” there is a very different mood. Simonds is joined on vocals by Laura Sheeran (veteran of the three Fovea Hex EPs) and by Larsen’s Fabrizio Palumbo. Palumbo’s somewhat indifferent-sounding voice when narrating the story of a man who finds their world disappearing is at odds with the two ladies’ emotive singing. The song ends with an almost panicked screaming, a far cry from the womb-like calm that I expect. The song is so jarring that at first I could not decide if I liked it or not, it completely went against my expectations. Now that the shock is gone, it is definitely a keeper.
Liles continues to show his versatility as a sound artist. He seems to be able to sit himself in comfortably in any musical situation; the variety on show in his own back catalogue and his ever increasing list of collaborations is a testament to his talent. Here he manages to keep the dynamics of Fovea Hex’s music intact but still put a different veneer on the production. It sounds like Fovea Hex has been channelled through a filter slightly different to normal, certain sounds are accented more and familiar styles are of a different hue. It is a meeting of minds that really should become a regular occurrence (hopefully on something more substantial than a single or an EP, a Fovea Hex album is well overdue!).
Following three excellent mini CDs produced with the top layer of sonic experimentalism, Clodagh Simonds teams with here Micheal Begg, Fabrizio Palumbo and Laura Sheeran, all under the guidance of Andrew Liles (rapidly climbing up to the top layer) to record two lovely tracks on a 7″. ‘Gone’ is on side a, and ‘Every Evening’ on the other.
The a-side has piano at the hearth of the piece and Simonds heavenly vocals solo with beautiful ambient like electronics humming sparsely about. ‘Every Evening’ has a strange narrative by Palumbo and multi-layered singing by Sheeran and Simonds and has a fairy tale like atmosphere, but with an unsettling undercurrent in the piece. This is beautiful too but much more spooky. Way too short on this format, one could only want some more after this. Fascinating, beautiful, small treasure. (FdW)