Just in time for Christmas, RE:WARM release a cracking compilation, based around the concept of “HOME” – somewhere that I guess most of us find ourselves thinking about as the festive season approaches. Launching a planned series of similarly-themed albums, label co-founder, Ali Tillett, has collected and commissioned 14 compositions that celebrate his own domicile, Dorset. Enlisting artists Gareth Fuller, on sleeve design, and Gary Moore, on field recordings, to further embellish and enhance his segued sonic soliloquy to the South West coast of England. Thanks to Moore, each piece is effectively introduced by an aural “organic” snapshot. Capturing and cataloguing turning tides, a ship’s foghorn, squeaking and squawking avocets. Cormorants chattering, a Nightjar`s chirruping, quivering call, the crackle and crunch of wood ant manoeuvres. Stonechats, in short, sweet, song. Tawny owls shriek, puffins sort of growl, and Natterjack toads croak and creak. A woodpecker happily hammers. There’s the perfect pink noise, 1 / f fluctuations, of whistling cliff top winds, and the busy banter of swifts and swallows.
Musically, the mixture opens beautifully with Natural Calamity, whose serene 6-string picking and beatific bongo fusion of folk and new age recalls fellow countrymen and women, Sth. Notional, their Japanese sunset classic, Yawn Yawn Yawn – right down to the wordless David Crosby-esque “lyric”. Cymbals spiritually simmering and shimmering. Paqua marry a Moog-y synth solo to groovy acoustics. The quality arrangement on Escondido climbing through orchestral accompaniment to a blues-y electric solo. Coyote then couple sampled poetry with their characteristic, trademark, beachside dub, on The Fade.
There are two jazzy numbers – Grey Matter`s buoyant broken beat juggling Black Turns Blue, and Brainchild’s Beyond Because, a joyful joint, where piano and bowed strings dance like Keith Jarrett to a syncopation of brushed snares.
Fug`s From Little Seeds We Grow is proper, plugged-in, psychedelic folk. A ballad nurtured by nature, which builds to a kosmische motorik pulse. Bobby Lee & Mia Doi Todd`s Walking With Trees is another laid-back hymn to horticulture and the wonders of a unspoiled world. Singing of forests and families, with the same sort of irresistible swing as Lesley Duncan’s timeless Love Song, before detonating some dynamite, fuzzed and distorted, axe work.
Kicking off with a track by Crack`d Man, though the compilation commences a sextet of mini synthetic symphonies that wouldn’t be out of place on Kompakt`s Pop Ambient 2022. Kirk Degiorgio, Richard Norris, Turtle, World Of Apples, Pablo Color & HOVE, all deliver drones, hum, hushed harmonic, electronics, terrifically textured, tunes forged from a feather-like vapour. Microtone mists and stirring emotional swells that surmount to a relaxing rewarding deep listen. Muted melodic fanfares, and autumnal aches that make for a sublime way to celebrate the end of the day.
Âme`s closing Doldrums takes its cues from composer Steve Reich. Layering chimes to create very cool counterpoint, and balancing that with Kind Of Blue brass, plus a big rumbling bottom end. Adding echoed sonar signals to guide you, as you navigate the depths of inner / outer space divulged.
Ali Tillett`s HOME is released today on RE:WARM.