When a friend of SCV sent us a preview link for the latest album from Marsen Jules this week, we had no idea what we were getting into and were given little background on the artist. Instead of diving into the background, we hit play and allowed the music to speak on its own. Fully immersed into a dream state, the tones are subtle in transformation but are always moving in shape. It’s music to relax and enter another dimension with. Releasing the full length The Endless Change Of Colour with 12K Records this month, this is an album we are very eager to get our hands on from the preview clip sent and the amount of material we have been going through this week from Marsen.
After reading through the process of how this music was created, we were even more impacted and affected by the results achieved. Marsen Jules’ latest work is a generative music piece upon a single phrase of an old jazz record split into three audio streams” mentions 12K Records in their press statement about this new LP from their label. These streams are transformed into loops which break the original instrumentation down into sound resembling pure waves, harmonics and overtones. These loops play to different time signatures to create phasing patterns that continuously move and dance around each other in a constantly-evolving lattice of sound. Long drones of beautiful tones that float together with a delicate exterior, it’s the type of creation that puts me into a peaceful state of mind. Music to feel and understand in ways that pop music can never touch. Read the official statement below and hit play on this grandiose sounding ambient piece sourced in the most unique of ways.
From 12K | http://www.12k.com/
In our, boxed, on-demand world where accessibility and recallability rule we can often forget the importance of the unpredictable or the joy of true discovery. Our lives are increasingly shaped by systems and patterns; downloaded, linked, and stored, that help us live, tell us when to go outside and what we will find when we get there. The mystery of our every day slowly seeps out of our lives like photograph bled of its color by the sun. There are fewer questions and too many answers.
The Endless Change Of Colour exists somewhere between our future and the mistakes and accidents we’ve made along the way. It is a celebration of both the system and the unexpected. Marsen Jules’ latest work is a generative music piece upon a single phrase of an old jazz record split into three audio streams. These streams are transformed into loops which break the original instrumentation down into sound resembling pure waves, harmonics and overtones. These loops play to different time signatures to create phasing patterns that continuously move and dance around each other in a constantly-evolving lattice of sound. Despite it being based on a very strict and limited set of rules the music could, in theory, be endless and ever-changing.
Here, the listener’s discovery is a quiet and engaged one. Ripples and pulses set within a field of color that sometimes feels like water, sometimes like air and sometimes like glass. Electronic tones hum with warmth and the softness of slumber. The patterns are there, familiar to our modern ears, but they’re not always what they seem. The wandering mind steers this one along more than the generative grid on which it was based and The Endless Change Of Colour becomes exactly as its title suggests.
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If you took interests in this track, check out his last full length Nostalgia, released on Oktaf Records.
“We wanted to present the ballad in a new form employing sounds as well as words to tell our stories. These stories are not as lyrical as the ballad form of the past and are open to the listener’s interpretation. These are ballads of our time that are aware of the past. They are investigations into the uncertainty of our time, love, woe and hope.” – The Boats
The Boats are a group who have floored me this year with their full length Ballads of The Research Department on the 12K imprint. The Boats are a duo who calls upon the talents of their colleagues, associates and friends in the different approaches of sound they have contributed to both their respective works. Consisting of Craig Tattersall (ex-Hood, The Remote Viewer, and owner of the Cotton Goods label) and Andrew Hargreaves (Tape Loop Orchestra), The Boats Ballads of The Research Department is one of the most awe inspiring albums of the year and is a record I am very honored to write about today. Atmospheric electronic tones oscillate in heavenly forms with piano, cello and other majestic sounding instruments serving as the body and shape of the entire four song full length. Pressed in a limited edition of 1000 copies, this is one album that I still can’t find the beauty and meaning it gives to me in description form.
The Boats new record sends chills up my spine in the way that Godspeed You! Black Emperor did for me when first hearing their music. It retains so much depth in resonance. There is a nostalgic tone of past times that share the same space with the futuristic synth tones that roam around in the mix in versatile movement. The four extended pieces on the album retain so much vitality and presence through electronic and acoustic states that it really makes the record as youthful as it is aged. Long passages construct each entry and landing point on the four songs, with a slowly swirling amalgamation of symbiotic acoustic and electronic tones. This band chooses a slowly evolving and expanding gestation to the sound on Ballads of The Research Department, giving away to crackling, swaying emotional fall out moments that can be traced from the beginning to the end of the song.
The Boats have uniquely crafted a record that does into require deviated rhythm sections and mind altering chord sequences. Instead, they push the paint brush to the front and center for a meditative ride into the Boats world. The percussive counterparts come at the hand of soft, angelic brush strokes and an uncanny, sophisticated acoustic based groove. Stringed instrumentation becomes so entangled into the synth, piano and other melodic features that it pulls the music inward and outward like the beating cycles of the heart.
Minimal and extremely distinct vocal works on Ballads of The Research Department come from Japanese vocalist Cuushe and multi-instrumentalist Chris Stewart, an additional aspect to the record that allows the vast amounts of breathing space in the sheets of the music to be filled up. Ballads of The Research Department is cinematic at heart and is something I can’t put down; frankly, it’s a record I don’t think I ever will. Highly recommended at Sound Colour Vibration.
Ballads of The Research Department
- The Ballad For Achievement
- The Ballad Of Failure
- The Ballad For The Girl On The Moon
- The Ballad Of Indecision