Label: Self released
Catalog: CELER 021
Release date: 9/9/07
Out of print
1 Apathy Has Its Own Momentum
2 For 6 Seconds, You Don’t Blink
3 I See The Ones
4 The Last Thing You Explain Before You Die
5 The Smoke In The Photo
6 Walking Above Walkways
7 Homes Between The Channels, Under The Dams
8 Blinking Twilight At 3 AM
9 Entropy Is The New Black
Packaged in hand-painted foldout cardboard cover with 2 inserts.
Celer have only appeared on my radar relatively recently with their release on Spekk, and they saw fit to send me this hand made self-release to listen to. NEON uses elements of sound sourced from neon light tubes, taking loops of pure instruments, then using specially sequenced sensors that responded to localised fluctuations in light colour and intensity, literally transforming light into sounds..at least that is my understanding of the 9 pieces here.
The soundscapes are mostly delicate, gauzy affairs, gently swaying pieces, like soft grass, and with curiously evocative titles like “Apathy has its own momentum”, and “Homes Between the Channels, Under the Dams”, the musical content would appear to be a transcript of something deeply personal, or unwittingly obscure. These are elegantly sculpted pieces, rich and tonal, layered, yet highly reduced and focussed, somnifacient passages that seduce and beckon us into aural neverland. Parts of Neon remind me of Keith Berry, with swathes and washes of tonalism, looped, yet subtly altering, lilting and lulling..did I say I’m loving this? Oh yes..and with the beautiful hand made packaging, this would be on my shopping list, even if Celer hadn’t graciously sent this along..Buy a copy now..
Celer’s Neon doesn’t represent a radical sonic departure from its other self-released works though the manner by which the material was generated is rather unusual. The group’s description of the process is more detailed but, in essence, sensors, pulsing lights, and custom glass tubes were used to manipulate the tracks’ loops (generated from “pure instruments” reduced to bare tones) by synchronizing them via time changes to the brightness and colours of neon lights. Neon inarguably succeeds in realizing one of the group’s intended goals for the project: the desire to document “the transformation of sound into the beauty of electroluminescence.” No matter the conceptual impetus or production methodology involved in any given Celer project, the results are uncommonly beautiful and Neon is no exception. In this case, the seventy-minute release presents nine ethereal settings whose tranquil flow of “codeine-flavored” tones both transports and becalms the listener. Track titles like “Blinking Twilight at 3 AM” convey the music’s crepuscular character and, as with many Celer releases, the package includes a brief poem and a hand-made painted cover by Danielle Baquet-Long. Muted and bleach colours stretch as far as the eye can see in these panoramic paintings for the mind.