Projections / Original Cell / Ritual Release

Big pensive piano chords sound amidst orchestral stabs and warm brass blasts. All of them playing their part, synergistically synthesizing a gradually building, ascending, arrangement of significant beatless drama. Simon “Woolfy” James` characteristic West Coast harmonies then join the party, and with the addition of some gentle percussion, the ensemble – Projections – without resorting to gimmicks, or kicks, elegantly pack a pretty powerful, uplifting, punch. The instruments rising and falling, romantically rushing, resulting in a piece of quality pop that has “balearic classic” running right through it, like a stick of Eivissenca rock. Willie Graff has compared Original Cell to D*Note`s divine Devotion, and he’s not wrong. 

Those Coyote chaps, Timm & Ampo, get their hands on the track, and set about doing their dope dub-wise thing. Stripping it down, beefing up the b-line to bionic levels, and slowly bringing the strings back in. Woolfy now reduced to whispers, gated and ghostly, the piano rippling, serene. 

Khidja isolate a strand of bass twang, and around that have cascading congas, raise a rhythm that rattles in tide-like waves. The Romanian duo deftly doubling the tune`s length, and creating this kind of post-rock meditation – an extended muscular groove worthy of, for example, Do Make Say Think. Then suddenly the pair produce showers of spiraling synths – spinning, celebratory, aural fireworks, soothed by washes of siren-like sighs. The electric combination, counterpoint, racing, but calm, in a minimalist, Steve Reich-ian way. This sort of sonar blip your guide through the tempestuous, increasingly intense, sonic sea. 

Ritual Release is a new label, a Californian collaboration between Dan Hastie, John Alderson, and the aforementioned Simon “Woolfy” James. While previously recording – to considerable acclaim – as Woolfy Vs Projections, the new venture will see the name separate, divide, in two distinct musical directions. Original Cell is their first offering, and damn fine it is too. 

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