RICHARD SKELTON: Landings (Type Recordings)


Posted on Jan 15th 2010 09:00 am

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Richard Skelton: Landings

Type Recordings 2010
12 Tracks. 70mins05secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD Amazon US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Richard Skelton is a totally unique artist, who, through a string of exquisite releases has defined a very personal space for his work. Released primarily through his own imprint, Sustain-Release, in very limited hand-made editions, and coming under a variety of pseudonyms (Heidika, Harlassen, Carousell, Riftmusic, A Broken Consort…), Skelton’s music has, until recently, been the privilege of a lucky few. Two years ago, he released Making Time (Preservation), his first album published under his own name, and consequently touched a larger audience.

Originally a very limited release on Sustain-Release at the end of last year, accompanied with a book of writings, diary entries and poems collected between 2004 and 2008, and subsequently released as a limited double LP, with an exclusive CD of unreleased material on Type, Landings, now also available on CD, is a vibrant impressionist journey through dense and warmsoundscapes. The fruit of four years of recordings, and steeped in Skelton’s natural surroundings of the West Pennine Moors, in the north of England, Landings is a highly textural and evocative work, built essentially from bowed-string instruments to which are added an occasional guitar or a concertina.

What characterise much of Skelton’s work, and in particular this record, is the palpable grain of the bowed strings. It is as if the friction produced by the bow was amplified to such and extent that it becomes a component of the environmental fabric of the record in its own right. This contributes to give Skelton’s compositions a rare sonic depth, which is further accentuated by a sharp processing and the use of vast reverbs. Most of the pieces here are shrouded in thick sonic clouds, blurring melodies and instrumentation into earthy sequences. Adding to the quietly cinematic scope of the record, Skelton places discreet field recordings of running water, bird songs or windswept hills throughout. These, often positioned well below the surface, are for the most part barely audible, yet give these pieces incredibly vivid textures.

The music appears extremely consistent throughout, but Skelton uses his instruments to add subtle touches and delicate undertones and give each composition its own identity. Like walking in the countryside on a cold crisp foggy winter morning, shapes become more distinct as they come into focus before vanishing again in the distance, yet keep an air of mystery by never being fully revealed. Skelton’s music is however everything but bleak. While the gravity of the bowed instruments give his work a mournful contour, the organic aspect of his music touches on many more emotional levels to make Landings a truly magnificent and engaging experience.


Richard Skelton | Richard Skelton (MySpace) | Sustain-Release | Type Recordings
Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD Amazon US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (6)

6 Responses to “RICHARD SKELTON: Landings (Type Recordings)”

  1. Matton 15 Jan 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Great review of a great record. Cheers.

  2. Steveon 24 Jan 2010 at 8:31 pm

    This review is spot on. A very emotionally engaging album.

  3. themilkmanon 26 Jan 2010 at 1:14 am

    Thanks for the kind words. It is an album that keeps on growing I think. I’ve been playing quite a fair bit since I got it, and I keep on hearing bits that I hadn’t noticed before.

  4. Headphone Commuteon 08 Feb 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Excellent stuff!

    Tigon had an honor of interviewing Richard Skelton for Headphone Commute regarding Landings here:

  5. maedaon 18 Feb 2010 at 11:51 pm

    oh, finally, Richard Skelton review :}

    hope all is great with you B.

    take care

  6. THE 2010 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 19 Dec 2010 at 9:02 pm

    […] 47. MAX RICHTER Infra (130701/Fat-Cat Records) 48. RJ VALEO Atman (Io Records) 49. RICHARD SKELTON Landings (Type Recordings) 50. BIRD SHOW BAND Bird Show Band (Amish […]