biotron shelf - cloud bands and arabesques

  • Cat No : boltlp012
  • Label : Boltfish
Compact Disc

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Boltfish Recordings owners Mint and Cheju present an album from their collaborative project Biotron Shelf. These 10 tracks began life with the artists collaborating in Mint’s London studio. Field recordings made around the East End of London, in particular Victoria Park and Canary Wharf, formed the basis for many of the tracks. The sonic character and mood of these spaces informed the album: contrasting sites of culture and commerce; scenes of urban decay and pockets of pastoral tranquility; a vibrant clash of cultures, both ancient and modern. All these influences found their way into the musical and rhythmic elements of the tracks, which were created from a variety of electronic and acoustic sound sources including analogue and digital synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, hardware and software drum machines and samplers, prepared piano and shortwave radio static. The compositions were then bounced back and forth several times between Mint’s studio and Cheju’s Liverpool-based studio, with each artist working into the tracks with further edits, treatments and processes. Tracks like Three Ten to Euston, Kyph, The King’s Horses and Forests of Glass and Steel are classic Biotron Shelf: warm organic electronica works in which soft autumnal analogue synth tones trace melancholic melodies, balanced with intricately crafted clicky beat patterns. Clockwork Pharmacy and Butternut Squash are more upbeat IDM tracks. The former blends heavily edited and processed prepared piano recordings with complex funky glitch beat patterns and oscillating bass tones, while the latter features crunchy drums, broken mechanical clicks, warm synth tones, twinkling electronic melodies and soaring strings. Formless Geometry is more of a tech/house styled track, with lush Detroit-influenced chords and a minimal, subtly glitched 4/4 beat. Other tracks show a more ambient and experimental side to the duo’s work: October Mist layers warped melodic droning textures over field recordings; in A Tree Without Birds folky acoustic guitar picking and electric guitar twangs are joined by bleepy synthesizer sequences and radio static; What Colour Is Your World? processes recordings of piano and acoustic guitar into dense layers of bit-crushed tones and granular textures.

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