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AR: Wolf Notes

img  Tobias Fischer

As AR, Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton are collaborating „for the landscape, flora and Ulpha in Cumbria, nothern England“. As the liner notes on the cover thankfully point out, the term Ulpha refers to the name of „a hill visited by wolves“, which, in turn, awards meaning to the title of this LP on type recordings - with the equally reduced and cinematic artwork most likely depicting precisely the environment mentioned above.
Perhaps it even inspired the duo to record the music contained on this, their debut album as an ensemble. After all, the five tracks seem to delineate a sort of journey directly related to Ulpha and should subsequently not be regarded as describing a sort of immediately tangible development, but rather as markers along a long and winding roadside. Or, to put it differently, Wolf Notes really constitutes a single, tightly intertwined piece comprising of Richard Skelton's melancholic string extracts and Autumn Richardson's dreamy and ephemeral, lyric-less vocal motives. Both repeatedly turn into  loop-like shapes and as much as they may seem fragmentary at first, they eventually take on the character of gradually intensifying string ensembles or processed and layered chants respectively.

A case for the esotericism-police? An arrest on the grounds of lulled beauty? One of the major achievements by Skelton and Richardson lies in their ability of avoiding any aesthetics felonies. Instead, their album has turned out fascinatingly diversified and monotonous at the same time, equally mysterious and nebulous.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: Richard Skelton
Homepage: Type Records

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