Archive for April, 2020

Celer’s second album, originally released on CDR in 2006, has been polished up, remastered and given a smart CD release here. His third album “Continents” is getting the same treatment next month. Being a fairly recent convert to Celer’s work, both releases were new to my ears.

“Scols” is the very definition of what I’d describe as Will Long’s distinctive ‘Celer sound’, a series of subtly changing, slow sonic waves, synthetic and multi-layered, outlining a rolling landscape that’s not as simple as it first sounds, and running at a slow space that strongly encourages slow breathing and relaxation, but without any of the glibness that sometimes accompanies ‘chill out’ music. Opening track “Archival footage of only the lost and forgotten” sets out the stall quite clearly.

There’s a brightness and optimism to be found in pieces like “The energy to be freed”, but there is a fair abundance of various shades of darkness offered up here too. “Without strings, fabric or glass” has a hollow, sinister feel to it. Electronic buzzing sounds sprinkled over “Municipally, I let it slip” make it more uncomfortable somehow too, while “Thoughts ultimately of consciousness” takes a slightly more aggressive approach, relatively speaking. This is sci-fi, in a way that’s not your typical full-on dystopia, but where something somewhere is clearly not right- but sonically you’re being encouraged not to worry about it.

With its organ-like tones, “Icicle sparrows of piano pitches” is the only piece that alludes even remotely to the unusual choice of cover artwork.

It’s a predictable Celer work in some ways, but fans who lap up the artist’s prolific output, but who weren’t able to catch this on its first release fourteen years ago, will definitely enjoy this disc fitting nicely into the collection.

La terza uscita dello statunitense musicista/fotografo/scrittore a Tokyo Will Long “Continents” (del 2006, originariamente un astuccio dipinto a mano in edizione limitata contenente un CDr, un mini Cdr, inserti fotografici e poetici) in versione remastered (Stephan Mathieu) + bonus track (circa un ventino di minuti in più rispetto all’originale).

Un lentissimo srotolamento di cangianti textures ambientali, pigre e rigogliose in formato doppio cd.

Ripetizioni cicliche per frasi minimali sul limite dove l’azzurro tramuta in verde, come un inceppo puntina Eno / Reich da hash, che ti schianta sul divano e procede imperturbabile per ore (quasi un paio).

Ovvio che nel fluttuar s’incontrino zone più contrastate, ma è un nulla.
Alluviale tracimazione controllata di riverberi e delays, il silenzio poco più avanti che attende (sopra, sotto, ovunque).

Originally released back in 2006 Scols was the second album from one-man US ambient project Celer- Will Long, who now resides in Japan. It’s a nine-track affair that brings together a selection of drone works that move between gloomy spectral to simmering bleak. Here on Long’s own label, Two Acorns is a recent reissue of the album featuring a  remastering by Stephan Mathieu- the reissue is available as either a CD or digital download- we’re reviewing the DL- so can’t comment on the CD’s packaging

I think I first became aware of Celer’s work ten or so years back, and have always enjoyed what I’d heard- I’d not heard the Scols release before, and I must say it’s a lot more overtly stark & forlorn compared to his later work- that utilized slightly brighter tones & field recording details. Most of the nine tracks here are based around repetitively tolling and droning loops, I guess you can hear some comparison to the likes of William Basinski and Star of Lids – but the tone is a lot more glum, troubled, and creepy.

Each of the albums nine tracks runs between six and twelve minutes- we open with one of the longer & somewhat more positive tracks on the release “ Archival footage of only the lost and forgotten” here we find a slowly circular sweep and glide of a simmer amassed string tone & a lightly warming warbling element- this felt like a more slowed & regal take on something you might have expected to hear on Stars Of The Lid’s 2001 album The Tired Sounds of….. From here on things turn a lot less bright &  lightly glowing- we go from simmer & sinister spectral drift of “Municipally, I let it slip”, which at times has a grim almost dungeon ambient feel about it.  Onto the foreboding creepy organ meets gloomy gliding & hovering string loops of “Peers and pulses”, though to the malevolent almost metallic tinged post-industrial cold ambience of “Thoughts ultimately of consciousness”. With the album finishing off with the locked angular harmonic meets gently coldly jangling hover of “And rejected as ours will be”.

On the whole, Scols isn’t as approachable & instantly appealing as some of Long’s work- but each track is well-realized & composed, and if you in the mood for grimmer & gloomy drone matter I’d  say this will hit that glum spot.

Non bastano 50 euro per comprare un CDr originale di Continents, il secondo lavoro di Celer pubblicato privatamente nel 2006. Finalmente Will Long decide di ristampare qual disco, rimasterizzato per l’occasione dalle mani d’oro di Stephan Mathieu. Il doppio CD di Continents mostra Will e Danielle alle prese con una declinazione di ambient piu bucolica e rassicurante di quella fatta ascoltare pochi mesi prima nel loro esordio: La Oroya’s Cantankerous Bells e un lento loop che si avvolge su se stesso trovando conforto in una melodia celestiale. Ancora piu romantica la seguente Bereft Oversight, un incanto di pochi secondi mandato in loop per dieci minuti. Ben due le bonus track in scaletta.

Un doppio CDr con due titoli, Sunlir e Scols. In molti hanno conosciuto cosi l’ambient crepuscolare di Celer. Nel 2005 Will Long e Danielle Baquet erano una giovane coppia innamorata del mondo, che amava fotografare con la propria musica la bellezza che incontrava. I nove brani di Scols sono stati rimasterizzati da Stephan Mathieu e resi disponibili in un bel CD venduto sulla pagina bandcamp della Two Acorns. L’album gemello Sunlir venne ristampato qualche anno fa dalla spagnola CONV e non e stato incluso nel trattamento. I nove brani in scaletta di Scols bastano a capire l’amore di Celer per i loop disintegrati di Basinski e per l’estetica analogica della 12k.