Posted on Jul 4th 2012 01:40 am
A Name That Hides Her
Hibernate Recordings 2012
06 Tracks. 37mins23secs
Wil Bolton is one half of the team behind the excellent Boltfish Recordings, but he is perhaps best known as Cheju, his solo project, which has seen him release music on Percussion Lab, U-Cover, Smallfish, Static Caravan or Boltfish. He has also an ongoing music project with Murray Fisher, the other half of Boltfish, as Biotron Shelf, and has published an album with Mark Streatfield (Zainetica) under the name Anzio Green back in 2008 on now defunct Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction. Moving away from the crisp electronics and beats of Cheju and venturing into more atmospheric and ethereal territories, Bolton has, in the last two years, published a number of records under his own name on Hibernate, Time Released Sound and Cathedral Transmission.
For his second outing on Hibernate, Bolton has sought inspiration in the bands he used to listen to as a teenager (The Cure, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, The Velvet Underground), but instead of aiming at channeling any of their music, he aims to extract the nostalgic aspect inherent not only to the music these bands created, but also possibly to the fact of looking back at a particular point of his own life. The album title itself is a reflection on the young Bolton, who, aged fifteen, came across the quote, a reference to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, in Maurice Blanchot’s The Space Of Literature.
The music collected here, built essentially from processed guitars, is wonderfully delicate and textured. Working his sounds into a variety of drone forms, punctuated by atmospheric loops, contextual noises and field recordings, Bolton deploys quite an impressive palette of moods and tones, from the dreamy pastoral shimmers of opening piece Clearing and the equally bucolic Dissolve, on which bird songs and sliding textures blend in remarkably well, or the earthier Skyview or Barbed, both of which, while still relying on flickering guitar motifs, denote a more grounded, settled, mood, to the peaceful and introspective Blackpoint or Passing, which brings this album to a close.
While each piece is of a particular temperament, there is no sudden shift at any point through the record. Bolton brings each new composition in careful not to disturb the fragile atmosphere he continuously refines through the whole record. There is a richness of sound and textures which balances the melancholic aspect of the music itself, giving the entire record a wonderfully pastoral feel. This seems to be in direct contrast to the impact that the bands Bolton listened to while growing up may have had on him, but A Name That Hides Her sounds more like a reflection on the journey he has made as a man rather than a representation of his emotions as a teenager. It could indeed be the sound of a man having reached a certain level of internal peace.
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