We were pointed in the direction of Dream Logic by Tim from perennial E&D faves Tomorrow We Sail & we thought anything Tim was in to would be worth checking out; and how right we were.
Drawing on a background in classical piano and post-rock (as guitarist for Bristol based band This Is My Normal State), Adam is now exploring contemporary classical and ambient worlds with his solo music; combining piano, strings, electric guitar and field recordings with drones and ethereal textures generated by lofi sampling and manipulation.
We were so impressed that we immediately booked Adam to play our show with Rumour Cubes at The Underdog Gallery next week (14th Sep) so we thought it would be a good time to get him to give us the lowdown on his influences.
Sigur Ros – Valtari
I’m a big fan of practically everything Jónsi has been involved in; his solo material, Jónsi and Alex, his latest collaborative ambient project Liminal and of course Sigur Ros. Valtari is their most experimental album to date, and it turned me on to distinct, melody driven song writing, encompassed in ambient, hazy sonic textures. The tracks are capable of radical shifting of gears, drifting from peaceful calm to all out intense heart thumping noise. Moments of haunting vocal clarity only briefly rise above the soundscape and background cacophony, which makes them all the more powerful when they land.
I love the way the album has been written and produced. Many of the ‘free tempo’ layers have been created by capturing snippets of acoustic instruments on lofi samplers, heavily manipulated by reversing, slowing down, distorting etc. It gives the record a very organic, ethereal quality that sucks you in and envelops you.
A Winged Victory for the Sullen – A Winged Victory for the Sullen
The Berlin based duo of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie have been at the forefront of the modern classical movement, popularising the cross over between ambient and classical chamber music commonly used on film soundtracks.
Their self-titled full length is a sparse, achingly beautiful, dark and brooding record. The reflective melodies arrive slowly, leaving a peaceful sense of calm and space. The arrangements are primarily piano led, accompanied by delicate string playing and expansive drones and ambient guitar work.
Along with the likes of Olafur Arnalds and Yann Tierson, this album inspired me to write music on the piano, an instrument I learnt from age seven, but have only recently used in my own compositions.
The muffled, delicate piano tone on ‘Minuet for a Cheap Piano Number Two’ is beautiful, using the mechanical clicks and off-tuning of the acoustic instrument to emotive effect.
Bjork – Vulnicura
I’ll be honest, it took me a long time to fully appreciate the wildly creative musical genius that is Bjork. I really enjoy most of her work now, but it wasn’t until I heard Vulnicura (her ‘break-up album’) that I really got it. Certainly not lacking in her usual avant garde experimentation and originality, this record felt more personal, and put the rest of her work in context for me.
The record features powerful vocals, beautifully intricate, weaving string arrangements which integrate perfectly with electronic percussion and modern synths. This is no mean feat!
Each song is masterfully structured, developing and progressing amongst ever evolving accompaniments. The whole album engages the listener on a captivating and intimate journey.
My favourite track is Stonemilker, for which there is an immersive VR video featuring multiple Bjorks on a beach, singing the various melodies and backing harmonies to you from all around, whilst the gently crashing waves of the sea can be heard in the background.
There is an equally fantastic version of Vulnicura arranged for just strings and her voice, which is also well worth a listen.