Landscapes is the latest release from prolific Yorkshire born composer and producer Kirk Barley (Bambooman).
Across a tight 34-minute runtime, the album presents eleven short pieces that inhabit an exotic, other-worldly space of chiming guitars, buzzing insects and squelching synth tones. Working with looped fragments of his own instrumental, electronic and field-recorded sounds, Barley assembled the tracks from edited improvisations, some of them enriched with live drums from Matt Davies.
Barley's skittering, off-kilter loops overlap freely, combining with free-jazz-inspired drumming and processed environmental field recordings to craft gently surging sonic environments. At once static and constantly shifting, the pieces unfold themselves like views of a landscape, where we take in individual details one at a time while always remaining aware of the whole.
Deeply influenced by the ‘fourth world’ philosophies of trumpeter Jon Hassell, champion of a music bridging global traditions and contemporary technologies, Landscapes integrates electro-acoustic techniques with suggestions of a variety of non-western musical forms.
Recommended for anyone moved by the evocative sketches of Eno's Music for Films, the fourth world fusion of Jon Hassell, the abstract explorations of the far-side of club music techniques of Giuseppe Ielasi/Inventing Masks or the tropical soundscapes of Lieven Martens/Dolphins Into The Future.