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.