RICHARD A. INGRAM: Consolamentum (White Box Recordings)


Posted on Apr 20th 2010 12:09 am

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Richard A Ingram: Consolamentum

White Box Recordings 2010
06 Tracks. 46mins25secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

A member of prog-metal outfit Oceansize, where he operates under the sobriquet of Gambler, and with whom his released three albums and a number of EPs since 2000, Richard A. Ingram investigates a very different series of soundscapes with his debut album, Consolamentum, released on White Box. Claiming influences as varied as Erik Satie, Jasper TX, Machinefabriek, Ben Frost or Tape, Ingram weaves here a series of dark and complex soundscapes, created from fragments of piano, guitars and tapes.

The album and track titles refer to the history of the Cathars, a religious sect active during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteen centuries, essentially in the south of France, yet this is not in essence a religious work or a concept album in any shape or form, although the particular mood of the record, and its increasingly sombre tone, could find echo in the persecution of the members of the sect and their eventual massacre. This is however entirely conjectural. What is not though is the stark soundscapes Ingram assembles, their minimal forms developing into dense evocative pieces charting territories similar to those found on Miasmah. Kll Thm ll… opens the proceedings in fairly pastoral fashion, despite its truncated title, with a looped guitar which, after floating elegantly for a moment is progressively swallowed by a vaporous cloud, but things rapidly become more arid and haunting, with de Montfort first, which Ingram places on a backbone of treated piano, tolling through lingering ambient noises and reverbs, then slowly expanding into a more melodic structure, yet remaining maddeningly broken enough to cut any élan off almost instantly, then with the more abrasive and distorted title piece streaked with mournful strums of electric guitars.

Ingram enters even more textured grounds with Béziers, which, while it could appear lighter and more peaceful than its predecessor, gradually grows more sombre over its course. Ridden with found sounds and fragments of melody played, primarily, on guitars, then processed and eroded to the core, this epic central piece continuously mutates and decays until there’s nothing left of it. This process is even more acute on the granular and glitchy opening sequence of The Melioramentum, but an acoustic guitar appeases the mood for a moment, until it becomes overwhelmed by layers of hazy electricity, leading to the closing …Gd Wll Rcgnz Hs wn, which, following a particularly distorted section during which piano and guitars are manipulated into an approximate soundscapes, concludes with a rather disconcerting stretch of tape hiss.

For his first full length release under his own name, Richard A. Ingram has created a fascinating piece of experimental work, which, despite its minimal settings, is rich in textures. He is here very much in control of his music and of the moods he manipulates, and convincingly assembles them to carry his narrative from one end of the record to the other.


Richard A. Ingram | Richard A. Ingram (MySpace) | White Box Recordings
Amazon UK: CD US: CD

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Comments (3)

3 Responses to “RICHARD A. INGRAM: Consolamentum (White Box Recordings)”

  1. mapsadaisicalon 20 Apr 2010 at 3:10 pm


    Good record this. I agree, it sounds very much like a Miasmah record. Quite unsettling.

  2. themilkmanon 20 Apr 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I guess you mean unsettling record, not unsettling it sounds very much like Miasmah… Consolamentum is a haunting piece of work, isn’t it?

    The Miasmah aesthetic is spreading I think, just at a time when the label seems to widen its scope. Really interesting to see…

  3. […] year on from the release of his impressive solo debut, Consolamentum, Manchester-based musician Richard A. Ingram returns with another slab of implacably sombre […]