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Old 04-17-2009, 04:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheCellarTapes View Post
To be serious though, the album cover is vital in my purchase decision making
Sometimes even if I'm interested in a band and like their music, I won't buy it if the artwork is exceptionally ****ty. Unless they're one of my favorite bands, of course.
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Interesting concept this. I can't say I've ever bought/downloaded an album on merit of the artwork alone, but nevertheless I look forward to reviews of your discoveries!
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Lawrence English - Kiri No Oto 2008

Tracklist
01 Organs Lost At Sea 4:42
02 Soft Fuse 6:52
03 White Spray 5:08
04 Waves Sheer Light 5:23
05 Commentary 4:30
06 Allay 5:21
07 Figure's Lone Static 7:26
08 Oamura 3:49

No doubt some will look at this cover and wonder the attraction. The black text is superfluous and maybe some will see "just" a picture of the sea and the sky but I found it haunting. Maybe because I was born by the sea but have never really lived by the sea.

The sea I was born by was grey and blended into the sky. North Atlantic.
The sea I now live near is bright and blue and constant. South Pacific.

For arts and music's sake I think I prefer that grey sea against that grey sky. It is more thoughtful, more morose and gloomy. Will anyone understand this? If one is living by a grey and dank sea the bright and blue sea is always more appealing. But just maybe the constant bright sun on the constant bright blue ocean under the constant bright blue sky can lose it's appeal to those that constantly live with it.

Lawrence English is a composer living in Brisbane, Australia, my city of residence. Why had I not heard of him before? I have always tried to keep a track of the more underground members of the local scene. A man living in the sun with a less than sunny album cover. I should not be surprised. Brisbane artistes have always kicked out against their circumstances be that political, cultural or environmental.

As to the music, I was presented with what went ideally with the cover. Soundscapes that portrayed dark (shades of grey?) environments. The vast majority of the music is formless and to me comes back to a stripped back sound that is part Tangerine Dream and part Brian Eno's dark and industrial ambient minimalism. I had initially placed the music onto my walkman and in the dark walked and let the sonic sounds take me away. I walked by the river and over the bridge and by the lakes around the nearby University. I could imagine the album cover. It was perfect. 999% of this world would not have get one iota of understanding that enjoyment but that did, nor does it, matter. Unlike some ambient style music that becomes just part of the background this seemingly fills the mental silences and adds to the visual. Stand under that bridge and watch the river meander below as the night lights brighten and let sonic sounds take over.




On return I found that I had to read further. I found that Kiri No Oto translates from the Japanese as "Sound of fog" It seemed rather apt. Even now as I play this record I look out the window and the non stop sunny sky is constant as usual but the formless sounds of this dark but beautiful album seem to be ideal to escape the pounding sun.

So who will not like this album? Many. The young Rocker will not understand it nor want to, the old Classicist will find it formless and accuse it of being a sham and those in between will never even want to go there.

Who will like it. The lovers of form without shape. Those that can walk in the dark and imagine grey seas blending into grey skies. The dreamers among us.

Judging this album by the cover can be considered a success on a personal level. This could be an interesting exercise.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Form And Fate - The Form And Fate Of Lakes. 2007

01 Emotions vs Deceptions
02 Norwegian Black Metal Sword Fight To Death
03 The Ballad Of Austin Post
04 Intermission
05 It Will Come To Us
06 The Form And Fate Of Lakes Part I
07 The Form And Fate Of Lakes Part II
08 You Should Be Stopping

I once had the pleasure of seeing a glacier in New Zealand. We flew a light aircraft through Milford Sound and had the glacier pointed out to us by the pilot. Though it seemed small it was a magical experience to see and I will take that flight to the grave. So when trawling blog world I found this album cover and was impressed. Now that is a glacier. The one I was so transfixed by in NZ was a wee baby in comparison.
Where is that glacier that Form And Fate have used for their album art? I have searched via google and am unable to find an image. It would be an experience to go there.
And Form and Fate!? An interesting name for a band and considering the title of the album, The Form And Fate Of Lakes, the glacier seems appropriate.

So on to the music. How does it stack up? Not too bad. It is instrumental post rock and well played, (name a post rock album that is not well played), better with a bit of volume, (name a post rock album that is not ditto), and better through the headphones, (name a post rock album that is not ditto).

I like the track The Ballad Of Austin Post. Gently played with a clean sound that is given some grunt with the occasional feedback. It Will Come to us has some nice guitar leading the melody and a bit of drone in the background occasionally. Throughout the album the bass is generally subdued with the percussion to the foreground. The rhythm section is subtle in general though. Mix and match!? The guitars are, well....... typical post rock. Crafty, jangley and precise.

Lets be honest. Post Rock is the new Jazz. The players are always fantastic, especially live. People like me love the stuff. Maserati are the soup, Mogwai are the main course, Battles are the desert and Form And Fate, or who ever takes your fancy, is the after dinner mint. But the public at large? Nah! It is not easy on the ear. No vocals and no discernible melody. The heroes of the past sang about women and drink and drink and women and Satan and women and drink and drink and women while the Guitarists played 20 minute solos and exposed the hose pipe via the too right Levis. So that means that the likes of Post Rock wank bands with wank names like Form And Fate are going to be but footnotes in the history of local music, in this case San Francisco, while the members become accountants and dentists and later in life meet for dinners and reminisce about how they don't make music like they used to and how present day pop is so poor and it was not like that back in blah blah blah.

Good album, glad to have played it 4 or 5 times, will probably not play it again for many a long year and in all honesty l would prefer to see the glacier. (Where ever it is)
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Lawrence English album sounds stellar. Do you have a link?
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Lawrence English album sounds stellar. Do you have a link?

I do. On its way!
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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For arts and music's sake I think I prefer that grey sea against that grey sky. It is more thoughtful, more morose and gloomy. Will anyone understand this?
I grew up by a grey and dank sea myself, I totally get what you're saying.

Grew review, it sounds like an album I'd really enjoy.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I grew up by a grey and dank sea myself, I totally get what you're saying.

Grew review, it sounds like an album I'd really enjoy.
PM on the way.

S'funny I could really explain that feeling about the seas that I have lived by and that I have visited if I wanted to write an essay or something but I don't really feel the need. I like what I have now but I also like what I had back then. It is all kinda right.
Some how Lawrence English's Kiri No Oto, on a personal level, allows my senses to enjoy the "grey and dank sea" as opposed to enjoying the almost permanent light that I live in now. No doubt if most read all this they would be contemptuous but what the hell!

Strange album. It has just seems to have hit a mental spot I guess.
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It's gonna be funny
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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