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CD Feature/ Colin Andrew Sheffield: "Signatures"

img  Tobias

As accretions of visibility and proximity paradoxically bring forth distance, some take to reconnoitering seamy corners and their singular thumb prints in a final push for renewal. 'Signatures', from sound artist Colin Andrew Sheffield, exists in such a vein, and it marks the inception of Invisible Birds as a music label.

According to this fracturing, dislocating vision, beauty is found in the seldom seen, or in what is even quickly vanishing. With this firmly in mind, birdsongs, wing flutters and movements, wrung through Sheffield's turntable and 64-track digital workstation, become inexhaustible invitations to interpretation and fantasy.

Vast quarries of well managed and mysterious layers open up on the first three tracks, held together by a curious incongruity. The impression is one of a naturally occurring body of spacious drones, buried under layers of warm grit, and glowing amber and grey in intermittent bursts of light.

After the detail and imagery of these pieces are pushed into the red, where they momentarily lose their tenuous grip on intelligibility, the album slips into its twenty-seven minute closing composition, "Breath Of Day". A rattling, slightly damp sound, smeared with suggestions of eschatological fervor, particularly in the way in which the melody line staggers to keep pace with the sustained organ tones. The refined nature of the piece is an emphatic contrast and capstone to the artful tampering of the initial triad of works. From ashes to flames, the visible to the invisible, Signatures parts with message-mongering in favor of far greater rewards. 

By Max Schaefer

Homepage: Colin Andrew Sheffield
Homepage: Invisible Birds Records

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