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