The second collaboration between myself and Darren Tate, this time joined by Arizonan field recordist Banks Bailey.
Banks came to my attention via a disc of his recordings he'd sent to Darren who subsequently passed them on to me. I was blown away by the clarity and beauty of the recordings and thought it'd be fun to include them in the new album. Luckily Banks agreed and so I got to spend the next 2 or 3 months blending his wildlife, Darren's guitar and my drones and noises into Summerland. It's one of the albums I'm most proud to have been involved in.
The sleeve is an old print that I have hanging on my living room wall. It's an illustration for the nusery rhyme, 'Wise Men of Gotham'. I've no idea who the artist is but I'd love to know as I've 4 of his illustrations dotted around the house.
Very nice collaboration,where Ian expertly adds to & blends Darrens guitar improvisations with Banks’ vivid field recordings.Highly recommended.
Colin Potter, ICR
New trio recordings from three avant soundists with connections to the whole Monos/ICR/Andrew Chalk circle. Here Tate plays treated guitar, Bailey contributes field recordings and Holloway adds ‘sounds’ plus final mix. As with many of the releases from this particular cabal there are long sections of spare, exactingly-detailed environmental sounds and the combinations of hyper-real nature and lonesome peals of sonically-obliterated guitar gives it a melancholy out-of-space feel that is comparable to William Basinski, Organum and even MEV, albeit on a more specifically bedroom scale. A really good one from these three.
David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue
Label owner Ian Holloway has two releases. The first one is a work he created with Darren Tate (of Ora fame) playing guitar and one Banks Bailey providing him with field recordings. They don't play together as such but Holloway uses recordings of both to create five pieces of ambient drone music, even when the opening piece has a glitch like rhythm. Don't let this fool you, as this disc is mostly made of ambient drones, duck recordings and, perhaps a second surprise and one that fits the scope, a more improvised guitar playing by Tate occasionally. Quite a nice release, with some surprises and stepping away, even just a little bit, from the world of 'just' drone music. That's something I always like.
We're not all that sure who Banks Bailey or Ian Holloway are, but Darren Tate has long proved to be a reliable source for long-form dronemusik thanks to his previous collaboration with Andrew Chalk as Ora and his ongoing work with Colin Potter in Monos. Not to mention the multitude of self-released cd-rs under his own name. Tate's aesthetic for sculpted drones through field recordings, pedal manipulation, and occluded processing is central to Summerland, as it has been noted that Tate proved the treated guitar drones with Bailey contributing some of the field recordings and Holloway reconfiguring everything at the end. Thick shadowy tones hover ominously alongside fluctuations of tactile crackle, sounding more like some of the earlier Ora recordings than anything that Tate has produced recently. Elsewhere, tinstrung guitars splutter with atonal resonance, which stretch, elongate, and blur into drifting dark ambience.
'Quite possibly sold out by now Summerlands is a calm and drifting mix of guitar and field recordings created by Banks Bailey, Darren Tate and Ian Holloway. Like watching the clouds drift past this is for fans of Pink Floyd circa "UmmaGumma", a highly inventive and playful collection the sounds of bees, birds and water taking the listener out into the hills.
While we're all more or less up to date with the work of Messrs Tate and Holloway (and if you're not, go check this website's archives), this is my first occasion to hear about Banks Bailey, whose lovely field recordings full of flies, water, birds and possibly frogs represent a sort of foundation for the rest of the sonic incidences. Darren Tate limits himself to the guitar this time, rather innocent treatments set to expose the core of an unbalanced paradox, thus causing countless minutes of absolute lawlessness. On his side, Ian Holloway is perhaps the most circumspect presence in the disc yet it's he who protracts the suspensions, bottomless droning electronics wrapping the others' individualities in a cushion of insightful wavering and throbbing majesty. That such a recipe of familiar ingredients manages to sound consistent is an infrequent occurrence these days, yet these men thrive in crafting soundscapes that - whereas not announcing something truly new-fangled in this neighbourhood - allow us to mentally detach from an actuality made of redundant presences and people frantically trying to affirm their continuation through cumulative and systematically worthless words which, in comparison with the mesmerizing landscapes evoked by these tapes are really zilch. These guys know what they're doing, and this is a must for the clued-up ones, certain pages from the Monos book being an acceptable term of association.
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
Summerland reminds of a point in time when the tempers tossed in the maelstrom of everyday life brought people to their knees; when the rhythm of nature was besieged by calamities that could be appeased only by sacrifices and other such symbolic offerings
The album comprises guitar improvisations from Darren Tate and field recordings culled by Banks Bailey, all passed through the sieve of Ian Holloway's mixing and processing techniques. Despite the different types of music each man is mainly associated with, their arrangement in this session is astonishingly homogenous, and Holloway's command of the entire range of sounds and their technical possibilities is impressive.
The third track, seamless though it is, passes through several different different territories, including fairly standard improv mutterings, abstract sonic soundscapes, caustic scree's of noise, episodes beautiful, elegant, emotionally affecting melodic invention, and almost mystical passages of mesmerizing field recordings melded with echoes of minimalism. On account of the trio's willingness and ability to veer smoothly between styles and methodologies , there's a freshness and vitality to the album, dark though it may be.
This is furthered with the details of Holloway's production: he places Tate's chameleon chords like fireflies in the mouth of a grumbling, side-long drone of creeping menace, or invests Bailey's crazed nature sounds with delightful textures and other strange noises. Summerland is a ragged kind of lyricism, and a wholly engaging musical vision.
Max Schaefer, Earlabs