LIONDIALER: Live! (White Box Recordings)


Posted on Mar 13th 2009 01:45 am

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Liondialer: Live!

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White Box Recordings 2009
07 Tracks. 52mins25secs

Liondialer exist primarily as a live outfit, with a particular pledge to bring their sonic experimentation to a public who would normally not be confronted with anything quite like this, by playing outside of the usual leftfield venues circuit. This has led to their live improvisations being largely ignored, or, as the story goes, for the pair to be asked by a band due to play straight after them when they planned to start and receiving for answer a straight to the point ‘We are playing. This is our set. You’re kind of interrupting my flow’.

Formed of Greg Haines, whose debut, Slamber Tides, published on Miasmah in 2006, gathered well deserved praises, and Danny Saul, a guitarist who, beside his solo work, is also involved in a handful of formations, Liondialer have been performing live improvisations for a couple of years. This is not however entirely the first time the pair collaborate. Indeed, they, together with John Twells, better known as the head of Type Records, who also regularly officiates as Xela, released a one-sided LP, The 12th Chapel, almost two years ago on Rite.

The recordings on this debut Liondialer album were culled from performances captured in various venues in and around Manchester, with the exception of the last piece, recorded during a radio show in Antwerp, Belgium. The music is overall extremely calm and introvert, built from strips of processed cello and guitar, created and treated on the fly, with occasional snippet of crowd noises, conversations, laughter or glasses clinking caught in the distance and left untouched, as to emphasise the fragility of the work.

Sounds ebb and flow, occasionally rising to incorporate some element of distortion or interference, at other times almost grinding to a complete silent halt, never quite forming into accomplished melodies but stretching instead into vast atmospheric drapes which, to the untrained hear, could sound remotely like a band tuning their instruments, but actually develop into quite stark, rich and warm soundscapes. All nine pieces, some of them going well past the ten minute mark, others hovering around eight minutes, others still kept much shorter, spill into one another to create a seamless sonic flow. At times, the strident friction of a bow on strings floats above a hazy backdrop (Saki, Bay Horse, Green Room 1), at others, delicate guitar motifs appear as light as air (Green Room 2). On Ladybarn, a piano loop gives out a warm pulse in the background above which guitar clusters break out at random, while the pair progressively build layers of noise on Music Box before retreating into minimal territory on Rarefish.

The album cover depicts the pair sat on each end of a table, Haines hunched over a laptop, faced by Saul, also with a laptop in front of him, but slightly withdrawn to accommodate his guitar. While there seem to be little physical communication between the men, the record tells a very different story. Their respective contributions occasionally become blurred, and, as the freeform improvisations develop, the resulting music becomes a unit in its own right to create a beautiful and dense soundtrack.


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One Response to “LIONDIALER: Live! (White Box Recordings)”

  1. […] unclear whether Mitt Andra Hem results of live recordings, as was the case with their debut album, Live!, published last year, but the lack of crowd noises is perhaps an indication that the track is the […]