PAUL STATHAM Ephemeral + Installation Music 1

PAUL STATHAM has had a diverse music career if nothing else.

He first made his name as the guitarist of B-MOVIE who appeared on the ‘Some Bizzare Album’ alongside DEPECHE MODE, SOFT CELL, BLANCMANGE and THE THE. Following the band’s disbandment, he began a nine album songwriting partnership with Goth icon Peter Murphy of BAUHAUS fame.

With producer Pascal Gabriel and singer Lisa Lamb, Statham formed synthpop trio PEACH who released their only album ‘Audiopeach’ on Mute in 1997, a long player which also featured some of the last vocal recordings made by the late Billy MacKenzie and an American hit single in ‘On My Own’.

This helped Statham maintain a successful career co-writing and producing songs for a variety of diverse acts including DIDO, DOT ALLISON, KYLIE MINOGUE, RACHEL STEVENS, SARAH NIXEY, THE SATURDAYS and LOST BOY! aka Jim Kerr.

While B-MOVIE reformed in 2004, Statham continues with projects outside the band like THE DARK FLOWERS which featured his previous collaborators Kerr, Murphy and Allison. And now he can add ambient and experimental instrumental music to his forte.

The first collection ‘Ephemeral’ consists of four lengthy pieces reminiscent of BRIAN ENO, the first of which ‘Ephemeral 1’ is a shimmering cross between ‘Neroli’ and ‘Thursday Afternoon’.

With its sonic clusters of synth, it actually moves at a slightly faster pace than both, but that of course is all comparative. Whatever, it is a wonderful slice of thinking music.

‘Ephemeral 2’ takes the pace down further, droning rather than shimmering, its denser textures recalling those of ‘On Land’. The sound painting continues with ‘Chronology 1’ adding piano and acoustic guitar to the orchestrated structure, while ‘C2’ is more obscure with its sparse experimental jazz feel.

The second body of work ‘Installation Music 1’ is more fragmented and follow the lead of ‘Music For Films’, with its nine tracks mostly clocking in at less two minutes.

Opener ‘Breaking Water’ takes waves and mechanical noises into a cavernous aural collage, while ‘Radio Dreaming’ does what it says on the tin, but is too short to lead anywhere.

The pretty rings of ‘Submerged’ are serene, it could easily develop into a longer ambient piece but sounds unfinished. However, the other tracks like ‘Particles’ and ‘The Deep World’ really do submerge into their own other worldliness. Overall, ‘Installation Music 1’ has some great ideas but comes over more as incidental accompaniment like its conceptual title suggests.

Both are now available as free downloads, with a third album on the way. This is music worthy of BRIAN ENO himself that can provoke feelings of relaxation. It’s gratis, so why not take the chance?


‘Ephemeral’ and ‘Installation Music 1’ are available as free downloads from PAUL STATHAM Music athttps://paulstatham.bandcamp.com/

http://www.paulstatham.com/

https://www.facebook.com/paulstathammusic/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
5th April 2017

TEC Gold: TRANSMISSIONS ARCHIVE

Yellow+Magic+Orchestra+ymoOver the last seven years, The Electricity Club has written a large number of features that fall outside of the standard interview or review format.

Articles have included new artist introductions, lost albums, song listings based around a variety of topics, beginner’s guides on highly regarded personalities and TEC’s tongue-in-cheek Carry On Synthpop series. These Transmissions have been archived on a page in reverse chronological order. More inside ›

RICHARD BARBIERI Planets + Persona

Synth maestro RICHARD BARBIERI releases his most sonically expansive album yet in ‘Planets + Persona’.

But despite a recording career of nearly 40 years, which began as a member the innovative art muzak combo JAPAN, ‘Planets + Persona’ is only Barbieri’s third solo work.

Over the intervening years, he has worked with his former band mates in various guises, Steve Hogarth of MARILLION and most notably, prog rockers PORCUPINE TREE.

‘Planets + Persona’ comprises of seven lengthy instrumentals which while primarily electronic in nature, encompass organic tones and voice manipulation.

Indeed, Steve Hogarth, Barbieri’s wife Suzanne and Swedish musician Lisen Rylander Löve are among the vocalists who have been morphed into these new sounds. In an interview with The Electricity Club, RICHARD BARBIERI said of this ethos of innovation: “I layered up these voices that had quite interesting close harmonies so I manipulated them, put them into a sampler and further synthesized it… you know it’s real voices but it sounds slightly weird”.

Opening track ‘Solar Sea’ is a sleazy rhythmic excursion into another world. Using System 700 bass, the track’s atonal jazz feel is then augmented by the haunting voice manipulations of Lisen Rylander Löve; these warping noises are offset by soothing brass inflections and live drumming. Followed by the spacey avant jazz of ‘New Found Land’ which was originally written by Barbieri for PORCUPINE TREE, this one is probably the most melodically framed piece on the album, ideal for those who are perhaps a bit more cautious about sub-seven minute instrumental work.

The three movement ‘Night Of The Hunter’ begins sparsely with ‘(1) Summer’; cascading harps run in before some beautifully picked acoustic six string from Christian Saggese accompanied by Barbieri’s gentle orchestrations. However after those brighter beginnings, ‘(2) Shake Hands With Danger’ is much starker and sombre with the title’s announcer sample creeping in over the building percussive tension. The mood then subsides and on ‘(3) Innocence Lost’, sweeping synths, cacophonies of sax and a drum loop take things to their natural conclusion.

‘Interstellar Medium’ is the only piece that Barbieri performs totally solo on ‘Planets + Persona’ and here, he utilises the detuned pentatonic sound design that he pioneered on JAPAN’s ‘Tin Drum’ as well as more eerie manipulated voicing; it’s well-titled as it does what it says on the tin.

Meanwhile, the beautiful tinkling ambience of ‘Unholy’ is countered by unsettling Nordic voices before a deep synth bass rumble and acoustic guitars change the mood completely, aided by Löve’s soprano sax. As the album heads towards the final straight, ‘Shafts Of Light’ uses largely conventional instrumentation to achieve its icy atmospheric aims, featuring some lovely trumpet from Luca Calabrese.

Closing with the magnificence of ‘Solar Storm’, this is practically a full band jam with the legendary Percy Jones on bass and Kjell Severinsson on drums, while the ever versatile Löve blasts in with her sax. It’s all held together marvellously by Barbieri’s programming of bass and ethnic chimes, while what appears to be a guitar solo is anything but. As Jones solos with his fretless in the middle section over a mass of electronic sequences, it recalls why he was such a key influence on the late Mick Karn; JAPAN and ENO fans will love this!

‘Planets + Persona’ is not a one-paced ambient record, the variations in structure and tempo make this an enticing musical adventure outside of the conventional song format. Coupled with a sonic accessibility, this makes for a perfect mid-evening album of aural escapism.

As Barbieri himself put it: “‘Planets + Persona’ is more cinematic, it’s a wide spectrum of sounds so if I was a painter, you could say I’m using more colours”.


‘Planets + Persona’ is released in CD, double vinyl and digital formats by Kscope

RICHARD BARBIERI appears at Exeter Phoenix on Thursday 16th March and London Hoxton Hall on Tuesday 28th March 2017. He will also perform as part of The Seventh Wave Festival of Electronic Music in Birmingham on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th March 2017.

https://www.facebook.com/RichardBarbieriOfficial/

http://www.kscopemusic.com/artists/richard-barbieri/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Ben Meadows
6th March 2017

A Short Conversation with AUTOMATIC WRITING

automatic-writing-2015Sibling duo AUTOMATIC WRITING have been steadily building their profile since the release of the brilliant debut 45 ‘Falling’ b/w ‘Continuous’ in late 2012.

With ‘Continuous’ being one of the 34 songs featuring on The Electricity Club’s upcoming 2CD compilation released by Undo Records, Neave Merrick spoke to The Electricity Club about “Warm Jets, Nite Flights and Wuthering Heights”More inside>>

ELECTRI_CITY 2

electri_city2Released to coincide with ‘ELECTRI_CITY – The Düsseldorf School Of Electronic Music’, the book by Rudi Esch about the city’s music heritage, ‘ELECTRI_CITY 2’ gathers together some of the more accessible elements of Deutsche Elektronische Musik, Kosmische and Neue Deutsche Welle.

Issued by Grönland Records, think of it as a direct journey of discovery, but with the benefit of a local tour guide as well. More inside>>