Sunday, January 21, 2018

Presenting ... "Winterfylleth (waag_rel111)" by George L Smyth



Now here's something new: some modern classical music for you on weareallghosts.

I was approached by George L Smyth a wee while ago now with a couple of the tracks that now appear on this album. His email came out-of-the-blue (I'm not a big fan of unsolicited contact) but as he was a friend of Rebekkah Hilgraves and had featured on her show, I was willing to take time out to listen to what he had ... and I am so glad I did!

"Winterfylleth" is the Old English name for the month of October, it marked and celebrated the beginning of winter; and on "Winterfylleth" George L Smyth brings four pieces that each paint a picture of the coldest time of the year.

We kick things off with the warm, nostalgic minimalism of "Leaving My Thoughts"; it is a delightful piece of longform soundscaping that aptly soundtracks the more contemplative aspect of time spent indoors in winter.
From there we move to longest piece on the album, "Forest And Clearing", a soft, delicate piece that could so easily describe the first flurries of snow in a silent Narnia-esque forest at dusk;
After stepping quietly from the Clearing, we have "A Week Unknown" where there is a greater sense of urgency. Could these chords describe the bustle at the shops in the run up to Christmas, who knows? But there is a real change in tempo, a tangible sense of intention and of excitement portrayed.
We then come to the last track, the title track of the album: "Winterfylleth". It is a warm, confident piece of music; one that conveys a sense of making it, the work is over and it is now time to rest.

I really have enjoyed listening to this album and I hope you will too? It reminded me, in places, of the exquisite minimalism of Henryk Gorecki with the odd flourish that did put me in mind of David Alexrod. On  "Winterfylleth" George L Smyth has really demonstrated his musical talent and I look forward to more from him in the future. Welcome to waag!

As before, my thanks goes to Cousin Silas ... Warren Daly … Kevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... for their generous support.
A 320kbps version of this release will be available, for free, on Archive with a lossless version available here on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

- Thomas

https://archive.org/details/waag_rel111





Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Presenting ... Twang Eight (waag_rel110) by Cousin Silas




Each track on Twang Eight is an improvisation on guitar recorded live in one-take. No edits or overdubs, just one man and his guitar pushing the boundaries of sound.

And I cannot get enough!

From the opening track, "Movements Of A Celestial Nature", with its otherworldly choir and oppressive dark ambient air through to the spacious, light-filled "Summer Sunrise" with its sustained guitar, this is an album that both surprises and delights the dedicated listener.

I have always valued the atmospheric nature of Cousin Silas' more ambient music, Whilst some can make their guitars gently weep, Cousin Silas can paint pictures in your head and take you on whole journeys into the dusky, half-lit world of the imagination.

As before, my thanks goes to Cousin Silas ... Warren DalyKevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... for their generous support. A 320kbps version of this release will be available, for free, over on Archive with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

- Thomas

https://archive.org/details/waag_rel110




Saturday, December 16, 2017

Presenting ... "New Dub Manifesto (waag_rel109)" by Cousin Silas & the Glove of Bones


Dub is not a genre of music I have explored to any great degree. I am familiar with the work of Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Mad Professor, and Adrian Sherwood; but not really gone further than that. However, the work of Cousin Silas and the Glove of Bones has really whetted my whistle for more!

I thoroughly enjoyed their previous output - "Ornithology" and "Mabinogi" - but "New Dub Manifesto (waag_rel109)" feels so much more ... it is the realised potential that the first two releases pointed to, a glorious coming-together of two very talented chaps.

"New Dub Manifesto (waag_rel109)" is a powerfully dense and wondrous musical tsunami that knocks you off your feet and leaves you on your back with a smile affixed to your face. It is a wondrous testament to sound that will test the very best headphones and hi-fis and yet still sounds fantastic in my puny little EarPods.

There's not much more I can say about this release other than that it needs to be felt as much as it is heard. There is, at times, so much going on that it can be disconcerting but I would urge you to go with it ... give it time ... and you will be rewarded. I certainly was.

As before, my thanks goes to Cousin Silas ... Warren Daly … Kevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... for their generous support.
A 320kbps version of this release will be available, for free, over on Archive with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

- Thomas

https://archive.org/details/waag_rel109





Saturday, December 2, 2017

Presenting ... Tranquil Minds and other distractions (waag_rel108) by Cousin Silas and Head Joint



I've always loved the "and friends" series from Cousin Silas ... it reads like a who's who of our particular musical niche. And one such collaboration that I've always looked for is between Cousin Silas and Head Joint.

Head Joint are Victor Rivkin (who handles vocals, guitar, bass and a number of other instruments) and Michael Jobborn (with his Midi Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Guitars, Piano, and various other sound-making devices), and they make wondrously progressive instrumental music together ... throw in Cousin Silas and you really do have a treat for your ears.

From the off, you know you are in for a ride ... from the expressive psychedelia of the first part of "Trip Through The Mind" and the atmospheric ambience of "Burning Through The Atmosphere" ... through to haunting, ethereal otherness of all five parts of the "Tranquil Minds" opus and the longform delight of "The Collision with Nibiru" ... this is one belter of an album.

As for a collaboration, yes there are times when I can easily recognise Cousin Silas' trademark ambient guitar ... but, for the most part, this is something greater than the sum of the parts ... and, for me, that's what makes it so very special.

I really hope you enjoy this album as much as I do!

As before, my thanks goes to Cousin Silas ... Warren Daly Kevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... for their generous support.

A 320kbps version of this release is available, for free, over on Archive with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

- Thomas


https://archive.org/details/waag_rel108





Saturday, November 18, 2017

Presenting ... Beyond the Infinite (waag_rel107) by Cousin Silas & Kevin Lyons



I believe in the power of music to inspire and to heal.

That's a bit of a cheesy thing to say, I know, but I believe it to be true.

When I set out on the weareallghosts journey, it wasn't to make money or to strike it big. No, it was to give something back to the DIY music community that has nourished me over the years ... to bring some happiness into an unhappy world ... to light the proverbial candle to shine out in the darkness. I think I have achieved that.

So today, regardless of all the voices that say I am just not good enough ... regardless of all the closed doors ... regardless of what others think ... I can lift my head up and say: I made this happen! I took an idea and brought it into being ... and I did it with the help and support of people I am proud to call my friends.

I couldn't have started weareallghosts without the support of Cousin Silas and I wouldn't have kept going for over 5 years if it wasn't for the encouragement of Kevin Lyons. I am proud, so very proud, to call them dear friends and look forward to our annual meet-ups in deepest, darkest Yorkshire.

It is, then, with the greatest of pleasure to offer out a further instalment in their ongoing partnership: "Beyond the Infinite (waag_rel107)" is their sixth release as a duo and by far one of their best. Their atmospheric ambient music is the perfect accompaniment to the best in science or weird fiction, pairing effortlessly with the likes of H.P. Lovecraft. Delicate, open, and unsettling; their music makes the Cyclopean architecture of such stories as "In the Mountains of Madness" come alive for me, especially the illustrated version by I. N. J. Culbard, which I read while having my first listen to the submission.

Yes, there are beats. "Lost Horizons" is a prime example of Silas and Lyons' measured approach to percussion ... but this is, to me, more about the atmospherics. "Grey Steel Skies" and the title track, "Beyond the Infinite", are truly exemplary of music that is so much more than music, it is feeling ... an eerie, unsettling, weird feeling that I just soak up like a sponge. If that's your kind of thing then this is your kind of thing!

As before, my thanks goes to Cousin Silas ... Warren DalyKevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... for their generous support.
A 320kbps version of this release will be available, for free, over on Archive with a lossless version available here on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

I really hope you enjoy the latest release from Cousin Silas and Kevin Lyons as much as I have.

- Thomas

PS: grateful thanks to Andreas Schwietzke for the use of another of his illustrations, it is so fitting and perfectly in tune with the music.







Sunday, October 22, 2017

Presenting ... Cousin Silas (waag_rel106)




Cousin Silas' music is a familiar constant in my life. His albums hold a place in my heart along with my favourite books and films; and yet I still get excited when I receive an album from him, eagerly awaiting what new direction he has taken or sound he has returned to.

Cousin Silas (waag_rel106) is a fabulous return to the ambient soundscapes of his early weareallghosts releases ... there is something of "The Path Between The Trees (waag_rel001)" in this self-titled release ... a wee sprinkling of magic that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

This is Cousin Silas' 185th release (not all with weareallghosts, may I add) and it is great to hear the magic is still there, vibrant and pregnant with possibility.

Thanks to the generous support of folks like Cousin Silas ... Warren Daly … Kevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... I’m proud to be able to offer a 320kbps version of this release for free over on Archive with a lossless version available on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

I really hope you enjoy the latest release from Cousin Silas as much as I have. He's still got it and I just know you'll agree!

- Thomas

https://archive.org/details/waag_rel106






Sunday, September 24, 2017

Presenting ... "Permutations (waag_rel105)" by Cousin Silas




Permutations is the second in Cousin Silas' remix projects. As with Recrudescence (waag_rel094) our favourite Cousin has reworked his original soundscapes (the exact ones he will not divulge to me) to create something wonderfully fresh and new that will enthral all who listen.

Permutations consists of seven tracks that vary in length for approximately six and a half minutes through to nearly seventeen. They all have Cousin Silas' delightfully gentle and languid longform vibe but their conciseness and brevity, in comparison with his dronescape work, adds an extra dimension, making for a complete body of work: seven ideas that work as one with a togetherness that inspires;

Thanks to the generous support of folks like Cousin Silas ... Warren DalyKevin Lyons ... Adrian Nicholls ... Drew Miller ... and the wonderful waag community ... I’m proud to be able to offer a 320kbps version of this release for free over on Archive with a lossless version available here on Bandcamp for ‘pay what you want’.

Permutations has quickly become my reading soundtrack of choice. I hope it finds its own wee niche in your life.

- Thomas

https://archive.org/details/waag_rel105