Albrecht La`Brooy`s new long-player for R&S Ambient off-shoot, Apollo, captures the sounds of summer, recorded in the strawberry fields (forever) of Healesville. North-East of Melbourne, in South Eastern Australia. Their improvisations for dueling pianos are surrounded by birdsong and wind chimes. Farm machinery and voices of all ages in conversation and at play. Overheard happy moments. The easiest comparison is Virginia Astley`s From Gardens Where We Feel Secure.
The record is sequenced as a seamless forty-one minutes. Where keys and guitar take it in turn to lead. As the sampled landscape drifts in and out, the effect is kinda weird. Listening feels a lot like reliving someone else’s holiday. An aural vacation, where for the album`s duration your home, office, club, car, bus, train, or airplane is replaced by unspoiled, unhurried, countryside. Tightly boxed-in, skyscraper-ed skies transformed into rolling green vistas.
Tractor engines spike the Kosmische electronics, recalling the motorboats and lawnmowers that interrupt the idylls of The Orb`s pioneering psychedelic collages. Circuits squeak like flights of geese. Gentle percussion breaks in surf-like waves. Seashell shakers backing vaguely nostalgic synth-lines, as the music drops into Minimal stretches. The only hint of melancholy appears on the closing Sean`s Lullaby. Where the piano now seems haunted, as if playing in the empty rooms of Grouper`s Ruins.
You can order a copy of Albrecht La`Brooy`s Healesville here.