Wednesday 30 July 2014

Andrew Heath 'The Silent Cartographer' Review

Artist: Andrew Heath

Title: The Silent Cartographer

Label: Disco Gecko

Released: 300 cd's available to pre-order on bandcamp release around the 18th of August. Available on general download in October.

The 2nd non-Banco release from Disco Gecko showcases Andrew's journey into beatless ambient terrains comprising synth, piano and field recordings. I find I have to be in the mood for these type of compositions, usually quiet reflective times in my own company. Now although this isn't Andrew's first album. I've not come across his work before. Having a look at his web-site 'Aqueous Arts' I found it minimal and to the point and I liked the cut of his jib with this passage 'I remember as a small boy, watching a film about an artist who had made a sculptural piece of work that involved hanging large pieces of metal and wood inside an old barn. When one piece was moved it made contact with another until ever so gradually, the whole building was filled with random motion and sounds. I was fascinated by the serendipitous nature of this creation'. So I find myself trusting in Toby's judgement and hoping that I'm transported into a content and relaxed state, somewhat akin to floating in water on a hot, sunny day.

I began with 'In Search of Eden' and although the sound of the materials differs from the instruments. I could easily draw a comparision to the statement of the passage above. Andrew utilises sparse piano and synth layered over birdsong maintaining a minimal beauty and managed to keep my interest without the need of multiple complex loops diverting from the main theme of the piece.

The next track 'Kleine Blume Irgendwo (a homage to Joachim)' an epic 18 minute piece, which refers to Hans Joachim Roedelius (an experimental synth player at the forefront of the 70's Krautrock scene). In some ways it's similar to the first track but with a far more elongated synth passage and stereotypical field recordings such as waves lapping on the beach, door creaks etc that's not to say it's a bad piece, in fact it's great and I enjoyed it all the more for those inclusions.

The album continues with tracks of variable lengths and although keeping to the same format they all have little traits and personalities of their own I particularly liked the overall sounds of 'Shoreline (found object)' for example and the eeire and less stereotypical field recordings of the title track against the melodic piano and krautrock like synths.

I would recommend this to fans of Krautrock artists such as Klaus Schulze and the ambient compositions of Keith Keniff (Helios/Goldmund) or simply those looking to relax.

Review by Woodzee


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