12rec.039 Front  
art: bill bawden | hit pic to enlarge  

ocean! be our blanket


file under: ambient, electroacoustica
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I recognized young Herzog a bit later than I could have. Being an important part of the Welsh Serein-collective, he contributed a wonderful piece of electro-acoustic ambient for the second label compilation OIO which, in a whole, was enjoyed a lot at the 12rec. world headquarter. We got the Crepusculum EP in the pipe and planned to add a remix to give Fred Batys' folklore music a decent electric twist. So we got in contact with Bill Bawden a.k.a. Herzog. His idea of transforming analogue sounds into short-form ambient-compositions fit our intentions perfectly.

After the great success of 12rec.036 back in December 2006, Bill told us about some new stuff he was preparing for a future release. In addition to the songs on both of the Serein -samplers he had two EPs online and we were happy to have the man for a special 12rec-release. Ocean! Be our Blanket consists of eight relatively short pieces each built around a single musical element or sound-idea. For In the Background, Secret Armies Bill distills the cozy melancholia of a delayed piano-motive with warm cracklings and low-key synthesizers. Woke Up Surrounded by Enemies has a rather ominous feel. You'll recognize the beautiful noises (some kind of Herzog-trademark), but there are no ‘real' instruments to be heard. Bubbling loops of synth-drones interfere, swell up and fade like a bad dream. The piano is back at Here Come Our Fathers afterwards. Bill opens his sound-repertoire a bit and shifts microscopic loops and distorted vocal samples in the wide echo chamber of his piano strokes. Listen to Adjusting to the Light to catch Herzog fusing guitar- or harp-sounds with some well-defined rhythmic elements. Crisp! If you want to hear one of my odd comparions- think of Pharrell Williams remixing Gastre Del Sol. Huh?

Warm, quite focused, hypnotic and neat. Herzog delivers a beautiful study on sound and structure that surprises with emotional discernibility and uniqueness. An experimental release for 12rec. after so much popmusic recently, but a record you shouldn't have missed.

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