Andrew Hargreaves
Drones In The Air
Tape Loop Orchestra
Edition of 150 copies
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1Drones In The Air - The Sun Is Afraid 21:18
2The Sky Is A Mess - Your Hands Are Shaking 18:02

Manchester’s multifarious sound organiser Andrew Hargreaves (Tape Loop Orchestra, The Boats, Beppu) channels key touchstones of Glenn Branca’s microtonal minimalism, the paranormal, and DIY amateur broadcasting with some of his most enigmatic, intuitive recordings to date.

‘Drones In The Air’ finds Hargreaves deep in a new phase of vibrational investigation where the sentimentality of prior eras gives way to more abstract conceptual processes. Utilising a bunch of oscillators and the Lyra-8, an “organismic analog synthesiser”, plus pedals, Hargreaves works within just intonation tuning systems - or more precisely “intuitive intonation” - to just-about harness a microtonal flux of clashing, beating frequencies, but the project is more about ceding a certain amount of freedom to the machines and allowing aural alchemy to occur, prompting a spectrum of harmonic colours and rich timbral overtones distinguished from previous tape loop-based works.

Comparative to “Glenn Branca’s micro-tonal workouts if he had worked with oscillators instead of guitars”, the result also variously evoke mysteries of The Conet Project, the oceanic feel of Éliane Radigue compositions, and early ambient works by Terre Thaemlitz in their sound sensitivity and scope. In ‘The Sun is Afraid’ he mesmerises with glistening microtones that develop a coarser traction, interrupted by shortwave radio comms and resolving into phantasmic noise gauze that speaks to his long-standing fascinations with entropic decay and the sounds between sounds. ‘Your Hands Are Shaking’ follows with a stealthier approach to coaxing a hallucinatory drone mass inflated by ether voices and thickening up into a sinister gloam redolent of NWW’s ’Soliloquy for Lilith’.