Shail – Patterns – CD – Smallfish

www.smallfish.co.uk

 

Wil Bolton and Shay Nassi both release themselves from their main projects (Cheju and Mise En Scene respectively) to form Shail, in a release for Smallfish that now sees that imprint making the transition from 8cm to full length works. With a ready made audience, hungry for what has emerged as a highly diverse, and impressive series of releases, Smallfish is ideally situated as one of the central access points for new and exploratory soundworks.

“Patterns”, mastered by none other than 12k maestro Taylor Deupree, is essentially a collection of 6 rhythmic and semi-rhythmic abstract pieces,taken from single sources, seemingly based on loops and samples interfacing with grainy textures and more formal abstract elements. This is not glossy minimalism, nor is it clicks and cuts territory..”Patterns” sits neatly somewhere between these two descriptors, even managing to incorporate field recordings in places. Each piece exploits the digital medium, using the full auditory spectrum to great effect, panning and shifting sounds around, and re-configuring the envelope, drawing frequencies in and out of perceptual focus for analysis. Patterns is the perfect name for this collection, as it asserts itself within the areas of repetition, and iteration, using the loop as the device upon which to build peripheral elements, interventions that gradually swell and evolve, taking in everything from expansive, almost ambient tonalism, to pure glitchy electronica.There is no grand, overarching explanation of the work either, each piece is numbered sequentially, rather than titled, further reinforcing its status as a piece of art, rather than a series of musical pieces, although musicality is to be perceived within its framework, it does not take centre stage. Technically, these works are elegantly assembled, and with the hand of Deupree over the mastering controls, I don’t think I need to say any more. I enjoyed and engaged with this collection immensely, and it left me with the feeling that Shail as a unit have a little more to say..and other new territories to investigate..I await with eager ears..highly recommended. BGN

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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