Archive for November, 2010

Celer’s output over recent times has been prolific to say the least, and now Will Long (one-half of the duo) sets up his own label, Two Acorns. For this new imprint’s inaugural release Celer collaborate with Japanese artist Yui Onodera, with mastering duties performed by 12k boss Taylor Deupree. While much of the established Celer sound centres upon thoughtful, droning austerity this album is given a very different shape by extensive field recording work from both Los Angeles and Japan involved. Woven into this tapestry of environmental sounds and floating tonality you’ll hear migratory birds, ice breaking on a frozen lake, temple bells and sounds made by people in restaurants or on public transport systems. It’s becoming difficult to keep up with Celer’s release schedule, but it’s still well worth trying to maintain pace – Generic City benefits from Onodera’s additional pair of ears, and the final mix strikes up a deftly poised balance between beautiful ambience and more revelatory acousmatic material; in its finest moments Generic City offers an absorbing, occasionally hallucinatory portal into the audio topography of urban spaces.

Our album ‘Compositions For Cassette’ has been reissued by the cassette label Avant Archive, and is now available! Sincere thanks to Michael for making this special album available once again.

Find it here:

Press release:

Celer’s Compositions for Cassette remains one of the duo’s most curious and exploratory works. This is Celer on a noble mission, with clearly defined rules and a very limited toolset. Over the course of twelve pieces, Will and Danielle gush their customary mysterious-yet-gorgeous sound, but in this particular case it is all built from brief piano loops recorded to quickly-decaying tape. The pieces are perforated all over, some of them appearing almost only as ghosts of what they might have once been. It’s an apropos approach for this couple who have such a distinct reputation for almost defining that controversial ‘genre’: ‘drone’. This reissue edition collects the original compositions now on Avant Archive’s customary high-bias chrome cassette, and it includes an original artwork and layout by Johnny Utterback, as well as some combinative photography and layout created in a collaborative process between Will Long and Avant Archive.

Generic City is an almost perfect execution of collaborating. Performing together are two reputable acts in ambient and experimental music, consisting of Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist Yui Onodera as well as the prolific Californian duo of Celer. With both collaborators being immensely talented in their own rights, the pooling of their separate ideas has equated to four movements of boundlessly stellar exploration.

These 47 minutes represent a combination of two cultures and lifestyles from each of their perspectives. Yui Onodera incorporates recordings of Japans variety of customs: children playing, temple bells, voices in prayer to Buddha, among many others. Celer present sounds from the metropolitan lifestyle of Los Angeles: cars passing, conversations between people in restaurants, pedestrians within a plethora of other sounds. All of this incorporated found sound from their locations is intertwined with the use of musical instruments as well; guitar, electronics, violin, cello, and even more unconventional instrumentation like theremin and ocarina.

Rather than accenting the music itself, the field recordings are the main attraction on Generic City. Surely, the instrumentation and the ecoacoustics are in constant rotation– however the music is exceptionally minimal, with resonating hums that manifest within an attentive listen. This leaves all heads turned toward the atmospheres of each location, which bleed into one another seamlessly and allow the urban theme of these four pieces to come full circle.

Onodera and Celer acknowledge that both settings aren’t meant to be seen as two unrelated parts of the world, or a side-by-side comparison of the two cultures– but make note that though geographically distanced, these concepts are connected by nature. Generic City alludes to the idea that musicians are subconsciously influenced by their environment, and the way that the artists’ music blends with nature strongly represents this idea.