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The Sweet Sound of Suilven

img  Tobias

Suilven Recordings may still be small, but it is quickly turning into one of the greatest sources for unconventional and totally unique music. Label founder Daniel patrick Quinn's solo effort "Ridin' the Stang" notched up four stars at both The Times and Sunday Times (and provided listeners with some pretty good "Times" to boot) and live appearances are plentiful. Now, Quinn has allowed his long-time musical partnership with DAC Crowell and Kurt Doles to engage in a head-on collision with his own work on a soon to be released album.

Initially inspired by "Switched on Bach" (Wendy Carlos' early stab at using the synthesizer to play Classical music), Stockhausen, Cage and Eno, Crowell has found a language of his own in subtely shimmering and shining sound textures full of heavenly harmonics. Kurt Doles mwanwhile, a Crowell colaborator on various discs, has extended into Gamelan and Chamber music and had his music played in countries such as Indonesia. Possibly they felt that they hadn't quite delivered on their goal of publishing  the "Best ambient album of the last twenty years" with their untitled 2004-effort at Suilven, so they called in Quinn for assistance on "Don't look Down". Recorded at Crowell's Aerodyne Works Studio in Illinois, USA, the album consists of six mid-length pieces (tracks range from 9:33 to 14:25) and presents the trio in finest form. "Eastern drones and rhythms; shimmering minimalist electronics; rustic strings and brass and near-classical woodwind; psychedelic ambient guitars; hair-raising field recordings from Japan" is what the label has to say about it all and we feel this is not a bad description. Judging from the previews, this could well be a future classic: "And Miles to go" and especially "Over Godthab" feel like a warm  light-shower, while "Kami To Isshoni Yodooshi" ('xcuse me?) is dark and brooding. Especially the integration if acoustic instruments has worked astonishingly well and credits go out to the musicians for trusting in melodies again (who have been sadly absent in ambient for far too long).

The official release date has been set at January 16th, but you can already pre-order the album for the price of ten Pounds. Until then, we hope to be able to present you with a more detailed account of the music as well as an interview with Crowell. It also leaves you with more time to check out the other albums at Suilven, one of the best things to have happened to the decidedly unconventional palate for a long time.

Homepage: Suilven Recordings
Homepage: DAC Crowell at Magnatune

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