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Julien Demoulin & IA - The Bay (RND17)

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Home Artists J.Demoulin & IA
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Reference : Rnd 17
Title : The Bay
Artists : Julien Demoulin & IA
Coproducted with Basses Fréquences

Buy it (9€ delivery costs included)

A tribute to both a great friendship and the mist-mantled San Francisco Bay Area, “The Bay” is a sprawling forty-minute drone piece recorded and produced in 2009 and 2010 over the course of several journeys between Oakland, California and Brussels, Belgium.
Guitar and vocal drones, environmental recordings and flute merge to form an emotional travelogue at the grey boundaries of the dreaming and waking worlds…in celebration of reminiscence, before a darkling dawn, deep under the skies of water…

Listen to extact 1 or extract 2


Vital Weekly!
These two new releases on Basses Frequences see further exploration of the theme of ambient music, but are worked out differently. On the soft(er) edge we have a collaboration between Julien Demoulin and IA, recorded in Brussels and Oakland. The thematic approach here is about the Bay Area of California, but it could have been anything else really. Demoulin and IA use, apparently, guitars, voices, environmental recordings and flute in these two pieces which exactly last twenty minutes. Perhaps they intended this to do be a LP? Compared to other CDs I was listening to, around this, this is very soft music. I am not sure why that is, but I'm glad its not on vinyl; who knows what would have been left? Maybe its an artist statement to do it this soft, but it could have been easily a bit louder and still sounding great - I know someone who can a great mastering job, guys. Its not easy to spot those water recordings, or chimes, and certainly in the first part things move away below
the surface of audibility. Its music you hear from a distance, maybe just like overlooking the bay area (a view to a kill?) from some distance. The music acts like fog horns in the night, far away, shining through the mist and haze of the night. The second piece is a bit 'louder', and comes across like boats passing in the night. Its also the somewhat more abstract piece of the two, dwelling more on sustaining tones, whereas the first part has nicely shimmering melodies. Excellent stuff.


Taking inspiration from the mysteries and might of the San Francisco Bay, this collaborative effort is authored by two hitherto unknown ambient engineers. With its deep channels and strong currents, the San Francisco Bay is a principal part of the oceanographic and meteorological mechanics that give rise to the region's temperate summers and mild winters. For the most part, the weather patterns are very consistent and become invisible even to those of us who have lived here for decades. But, when those ocean and air currents push the fog bank through the Golden Gate Bridge and around the islands in the Bay, the visual impact (not to mention the physical drop in temperature) can generate responses of awe, transcendence, fear - orj ust the common lamentation that you forgot to bring an extra layer of clothing....
IA (aka Alex Copeland) resided in Oakland for some time, but Julien Demoulin is a Belgian artist and may have personally experienced the San Francisco Bay in his travels. The collaborative meditation on the San Francisco Bay takes the form of extended drone and dark ambient passages, which easily present themselves as sonic equivalents to the dramatic convergences of land, air, and sea. Thrumming harmonics collapse into lapping washes of soft noise, abstracted field recordings ground brightened arcs of ghostly melodies which shimmer like the flecks of sunlight that rake across the fog bank in the twilight hours, and the numerous drones take up shadowy isolationist
strategies. After some 35 minutes of tone color shifting from black to grey to blue with a dreamtime pacing, Demoulin and Copeland snap into a lovely coda, which begins with a strum across an autoharp and leads into an interlude for melancholy flutes swimming in thick reverb. It's a lovely way to end the record, with all of its comparisons to
Biosphere, Thomas Koner, and the Mystery Sea label."


Norman Records
This is one of two quite wonderful CDs in this week on the fine, somewhat under-the-radar French label Basses Frequences. We like saying that do Phil and I, in an excitable, passionate cod-French accent. It sounds great. I'd love to imagine Jerome from the label imitating our gormless Northern English tones. Very much like this deep dusky ambient drone CD we got here which appears more slinky, shadowy, majestic and truly phantasmagorical than I recall hearing a few weeks ago. The other CD on the label had really moved me and suited the morning, this is more a late night smoker of a trip with some truly intimate field recordings, guitar and flute drones creating intoxicating and reflective spook-moods. Part one of 'The Bay' is sure going to be a particular favourite sleep-inducing treasure for many, many nights to come, part two the twinkling hypnotic druid-like bliss-trip to ease the slide into magick realms. San Francisco's bay area at night is partly the inspiration for this CD, after hearing this I'd so like to go there and soak up the mystical night vibes. Bliss.




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