Despite being a difficult subject to put into words, nostalgia nevertheless attracts a great deal of fascination and is something that every individual can relate to. It is often close to the heart of the artist, shaping their identity and aesthetic and providing the inspiration for many a project. We welcome back Wil Bolton to Hibernate with his first vinyl release; we are pleased to present an album that places nostalgia at the heart of its overriding theme. It was conceived when Wil set out to create an album that was inspired by the guitar bands he listened to as a teenager, such as The Cure, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine. He strived to transmit his nostalgic recollection of adolescent musical influences into a heavily treated, droned out muffled and crumbling sonic environment. He wanted to create something that sonically presents his nostalgia, sounding submerged or decaying, as if heard through a veil the way memories and images become distorted over time.
The album title Under A Name That Hides Her is a quote from The Space of Literature by Maurice Blanchot and is a reference to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s a book that Wil read around 15 years ago and this quote in particular has always stayed with him. When working on this album, it somehow seemed to reflect that nostalgic, romantic yearning for something lost that inspired these tracks. Despite the treated droning textures that form the basis of Under A Name That Hides Her, Wil cites it as his least digital work to date. The sounds were mostly pooled from an electric guitar and fed through complex chains of effects pedals and loopers. Field recordings also formed a central part of the album and they include the sound of birdsong in the ruins of a medieval castle in Beaumaris, North Wales, the lapping of waves around a lighthouse in Anglesey, rain on the window of Wil’s flat in Chinatown, Liverpool, a train journey in North Africa and a forest in the Scottish Highlands.
Released by Hibernate Recordings on LP including download code, in an edition of 200 (first 100 copies include CD), 16 May 2012
Written and produced by Wil Bolton
Mastered by Taylor Deupree
Photography by Wil Bolton
Art direction by Ian M Hazeldine
“Wil Bolton is something of a Hibernate Recordings veteran, having released music on the label and its Rural Colours sister label since 2010. I haven’t heard them all but I doubt there’s much in his esteemed back catalogue that quite matches the ethereal lightness of touch achieved on Under A Name That Hides Her.
From the squeak and caw of birds on ‘Clearing’ to the quiet closing babble of water on ‘Passing’, Wil Bolton’s sublime new album is one that pays distant respect to nature, hovering above and circling around without ever touching down, like a fine wisp of sheep’s wool momentarily snagging on purple heather. The titles hint at awe and wonderment but at a remove: ‘Clearing’, ‘Skyview’ and the threatening ‘Barbed’. Nothing is graspable (‘Dissolve’), all is movement (‘Passing’) and everything bleeds into one gloriously lucid stream of gentle, patient and thought-provoking music.
Through a combination of field recordings, acoustic manipulation and subtle electronics, Bolton creates ever-changing soundscapes and ambient textures that mirror the nature of the land above which they float. It’s largely rural, occasionally maritime, mostly fresh aired and undoubtedly beautiful but there is an inescapable sense of sadness throughout. On tracks like ‘Passing’, with its sporadic cracks, disembodied voices and faintly menacing back-forth plod one thinks of fog enshrouded moor tops and Brontë’s quiet earth sleepers. Things that went before, things left unsaid, things that refuse to be forgotten.
It’s tempting to read the album as one on which darkness gradually descends but I risk making it sound gloomier than it really is. Certainly the journey begins and ends in different locations both physically and emotionally but the atmosphere is mainly wistful, not depressed. To begin with, ‘Clearing’ is as open and airy as you would expect, and full of life from the birds to the chimes. You could say it relies on genre topos but Bolton uses them in such ways as to give them new life, burying them far enough in the mix so as to create subliminal pulses of memory as you wander old haunts. ‘Blackpoint’ – an album stand-out and it’s most tormented passage – mixes running water with slowly engulfing shards of electronic flashback, while ‘Barbed’ is it’s most distant and reflective moment. The chatter of birds that rises above ‘Dissolve’ carries it into the clouds on a gently ebbing bed of manipulated string swipes and offers sweet respite before ‘Passing’.
Under A Name That Hides Her is an album that richly rewards repeat listens. Small details reveal themselves at every turn – from the creaks of rocking chairs to high-pitched electronic whines – but what endures is the overall feeling it all creates when combined with such skill. Tantalising intangibility, the use of dislocation through vague familiarity and the enviable ability to manoeuvre the listener with the very softest of touches has allowed Wil Bolton to create an album of sublime psychological subtlety and one you’ll find yourself returning to over and over again.” – Fluid Radio
“It’s not the first record by Wil Bolton that I listen to but it’s the first one to capture my attention and to feed my imagination so I keep on playing it.
There are a few reasons for that. First nostalgia is the main theme so it is filled with intimate partially blurred and dissolved melancholy. Secondly he found inspiration in the guitar bands he listened to as a teenager, like The Cure, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine, and thirdly as a consequence he gives more space to the guitar and to his manipulation and less place for digital processing and conception.
Anyways it is a mostly ambient record, mixing drones, quiet electric guitar playing and natural field recordings.
“Clearing” opens the record abruptly, directly we are plunged inside, sunrise sounds of guitar with singing birds announcing the dawn and recurring xylophone sounds; waves on the seashore for the nocturnal and pensive “Blackpoint”, laying at dusk on a meadow, watching the appearing starry sky on “Skyview”, while the wind and the birds are playing in trees around, “Barbed” is for the rainy days, stuck inside, feeling almost wasted and filled with regrets until an hypothetical weather change.
Finally the sun is back, and the appeasement, beautiful spring walk in the countryside for “Dissolve”, full of life and green luxuriance. It ends on the introspective and wintry “Passing”, with snowy landscape recovering souvenirs of last summer and spring.
As a whole, “Under a name that hides her” is a nice and recommended album which is remarkably fulfilling and ask you for space, time and for slowing down a few hours.” – Derives
“UK-based experimental ambient artist Wil Bolton‘s LP Under a Name That Hides Her will be out soon and mark the musician’s proper full-length debut, despite already having released a string of EPs on various imprints and under a couple of guises. The record, comprising six expansive tracks with a total running time of 37 minutes, is a slowly meandering piece of intriguing contemplation. It was composed mainly by employing looped electric guitars and unobtrusive field recordings that nonetheless play a crucial role in the overall concept, mostly having been recorded on various sites across Britain – birdsongs in the ruins of a medieval castle in Beaumaris, North Wales, the lapping of waves around a lighthouse in Anglesey, rain on the window of Bolton’s flat in Chinatown, Liverpool, and the sounds of a forest in the Scottish Highlands – thereby evoking a faintly and indistinctly nostalgic feel, as if referring to a distant past that probably never actually existed. The LP’s title, a quote from The Space of Literature by Maurice Blanchot, is a reference to the tragic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, thus intensifying the sense of loss and unfulfilled yearning.” – No Fear Of Pop
“It’s hard not to have an immense amount of respect for artists that can draw so much emotion out of so little. “Passing” has a soundwave that looks like it would make for a terribly unimaginative listen. Yet, underneath the drones and the repetitions is something unique, something affecting. It’s unassuming, but it’s there, hidden and waiting to be found by the special few who look, like the best things in life.” – Middle Class White Noise
“Combining drone backgrounds with environmental sounds and sparkling guitar themes, Wil Bolton manages to create music that sounds every bit as fresh as the cover image indicates.” – Ambientblog
“Consistency is a vastly under-appreciated virtue in music. Too often consistency can be read as boring, unadventurous, unwilling to take new risks and grow as a musician and artist. There’s an element of truth in that, for some musicians (those reliant upon formula from a marketing angle especially). But when work from a certain artist remains at a steady rate of high quality over a period of years, then why try to fix what just isn’t broken? Sometimes adventure is overrated.
Liverpool’s Wil Bolton is one such consistent artist, and a reliably stunning one. For the last few years he’s released a slew of very rewarding material, much of it via Hibernate, and much of it treading familiar ground of mellow ambient drones and field recordings. Under A Name That Hides Her isn’t exactly a departure from his usual work, but it is a frequently solid, rewarding album that exemplifies a high level of familiarity with, and achievement within, its context. Music like this may have many proponents, but few can pull off work this engaging and subtly beautiful. “Blackpoint” throbs with gentle waves of distant feedback storms and the splashed water of a sample. and cleverly never resolves its tension into a showy crescendo, while “Clearing” is a chiming slice of glitchy buzz backed with seagulls and gentle guitar. “Dissolve’ rides a wave of plucked bass and processed strings over a bed of birds. The most uplifting of these tracks is “Skyview”, with a soaring melody that puts one in the mind of a slightly more vibrant, less studied Stars Of The Lid.
There’s been a lot of talk about a renaissance in the Liverpool music scene, and there’s hope that there’ll be more to discuss of the city’s sounds than the all-shadowing omnipresence of The Beatles. Wil Bolton as well an act like, say, Forest Swords, paint very different pictures of the same city, which has largely given over to urban decay and abandonment in recent years. The presence of these field recordings conjure up expected natural elements (a tidal marsh under an overcast sky, an open field), but there’s something threatening here as well, a sense of disquiet, the marsh lying on the edge of a polluted harbor or the littered field spread out next to a choking motorway. That the atmospheric quality of Bolton’s music can conjure up so many impressions and remain so addictively listenable in the process speaks volumes about his immense talent.” – A Closer Listen
“‘Under a Name that Hides Her’ possesses a natural charm. It reminds me strongly of Shuttle 358’s approach to field recordings. They aren’t overwhelmed. Rather the field recordings add variety to Wil’s moving pieces. Each track gradually evolves. Most of the tracks appear to have been recorded near a running body of water. Such sounds increase the level of contemplation. The guitar tuning complements the field recordings nicely as well.
‘Clearing’ is the closest to a purely nautical sound. On the track the bell-like ring of the guitar makes it unmistakably sea-influenced. This continues for some time as the guitar goes further down into deeper and deeper sounds. In fact this may be the most memorable track on the entire album due to its extreme clarity. ‘Blackpoint’ puts the guitar further back at the field recording take over for most of the track. Here the guitar adds a shadowy vibe to the song, elongated, distant, and drone-like at times. The rest of the album transforms into quiet, pastoral pieces. A few of them ring reminiscent of Stars of the Lid’s approach to the guitar such as ‘Skyview’, a tender sweet little piece which hides its original source instrument extremely well.
The album is divided into two parts: the first part represents the more tangible aspects of the sound. As the album continues it drifts further and further away from consciousness. Even the field recordings take on a different dimension as the guitar’s gauzy sound is spread over them. ‘Under a Name that Hides Her’ is an achingly beautiful album about drifting away from reality.” – Beach Sloth
“Wil Bolton poses a musical alchemy that is rivalled by few of his peers. His work weaves a multitude of sonic sources into coherent, structured and effecting compositions, which delicately balance a dichotomy between the personal and the objective. His recent records ‘Quarry Bank’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Kollane’ have all dealt with the sonic exploration of places and the emotions evoked by these places. On ‘Under a Name That Hides Her’ Wil has embraced the even more daunting task of exploring an emotion, nostalgia.
Nostalgia is a difficult emotion to clarify, both ecstatic and meditative, euphoric and unnerving, this sense of longing for the past is an intense and defining emotion and a powerful point of musical investigation. Triggering it, however, is not easy; a simple minor chord progression will not provoke the ‘romantic yearning for something lost’ that is declared in the press release. Instead Wil illuminates nostalgic sensibilities through processed acoustic swells, electronic pulses and guitar, interspersed with field recordings, which fill in the gaps and create a pliable layer between the ethereal and the real. This all combines to create a muffled and crumbling sonic environment in which the listener’s memories are provoked and augmented by the emotional tableaux created by wave upon wave of melody.
This sound palette will be instantly familiar with any Bolton fan, what might surprise though is his use of the guitar. Here it is not merely a source of sound, shaped and mutated beyond recognition, but instead a recognisable instrument, complete with all its cultural idioms and connotations. This provides a point of departure from his recent work and opens a dialogue between past and present, allowing us both a unique insight into Wil’s own musical nostalgia and the time and space to revel in our own.
His control over the component parts of the mix continues to impress, with each release growing in clarity and purpose. This makes the effect of the gradual change in these compositions more profound; loops drift in and out of focus, as memories meander through the subconscious in multiple permutations, until one gains foothold in the confines of reality. Pastoral and transcendent, this is music that clothes you in memories, both happy and sad are represented, but the ultimate feeling that remains after the album’s final coda is an overwhelming sense of relief. This record is like an auditory spring clean; it gives tangible expression to thoughts and emotions that have too long been hidden.
The title ‘Under A Name That Hides Her’ is a line taken from ‘The Space of Literature’ by Maurice Blanchot and is a reference to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Wil Bolton succeeds where Orpheus failed. He has ventured into the dark night of his memories and pulled them back toward the light, providing a counter narrative and giving them shape and form in the reality of day. Each composition is a reflective element of his soul, mirrored within which the listener finds a recognizable part of the self. This record is more than just an exercise in nostalgia, it’s raw emotion, open heart and generous soul offers the listener a means by which to ease their own points of suffering and exercise the demons lurking within their past.” – Future Sequence
“Il fait aujourd’hui figure de vétéran de la scène ambiant, cofondateur du label Boltfish, Wil Bolton – plus connu sous le nom de Cheju – préfère cependant faire confiance à Hibernate Records pour faire paraître ses œuvres les plus abstraites comme Time Lapse (sorti en 2010). Mais aujourd’hui nous allons pluôt nous préoccuper de son dernier long format en date : « Under A Name That Hides Her », pressé il y a quelques jours et en seulement 200 exemplaires physiques. Pour la petite anecdote ce titre fait référence à une citation du philosophe français Maurice Blanchot dans « L’espace littéraire » faisant mention au mythe du poète et musicien Orpheus et de sa mystérieuse compagne Eurydice. Le producteur est prolifique en ce début d’année et ne se soucie pas d’une quelconque démarche commerciale, ce qui est assez appréciable pour l’auditeur.
Je préfère cependant vous prévenir tout de suite ce long format n’est pas fait pour toute les oreilles qui sont malheureusement de moins en moins apte à écouter et surtout à comprendre la profondeur d’une telle œuvre, car on atteint ici le sommet de l’abstraction et du minimalisme avec « uniquement » une guitare électrique pour instrument et un laptop. Wil Bolton est un de ces producteurs qui prennent le temps de s’assoir et d’écouter avant de composer, un de ces producteurs qui ont la faculté de pouvoir capter la nostalgie des lieux qui les entoure et de la transcrire avec une justesse désarmante. Tout semble si naturel dans ces morceaux et cela est en grande partie dû à la qualité sonore irréprochable de la guitare dont les harmonies s’entremêlent sublimement avec les field recordings et forment ainsi la quintessence de la musique de Bolton. Ce véritable orfèvre nous dépeint pendant plus de trois quart d’heures des natures mortes d’une extrême poésie, les notes fragiles ainsi que les nappes de bruits ambiants donnent une sensibilité incomparable aux différents morceaux qui composent cet album et forment un tout unique et tellement mélancolique… Notre imagination s’égare alors tantôt aux abords d’une rivière, tantôt auprès d’une gare désaffectée, tantôt sur le versant d’une colline surplombé d’un château ravagé par les affres du temps…
Avec Under A Name That Hides Her, Wil Bolton continue à suivre son chemin tortueux constitué d’expérimentations, l’utilisation de field recordings n’a jamais eu autant de sens que dans cette œuvre : le liverpuldien à un véritable don pour retranscrire ses sensations à travers sa musique. C’est certainement une œuvre rare, abstruse peut-être, mais qui mérite qu’on s’y attache ; la vérité finira par éclater dans vos oreilles ébahie : Wil Bolton est un véritable génie !” – Electronic Diary
“On n’en finit plus de parler de la mise en sommeil du label Boltfish de Wil Bolton, où il officie en tant que Cheju. Même si certaines releases étaient plus qu’appréciables, on ne va pas se plaindre de cette diversification, tant la musique du Sieur Bolton a pris une nouvelle ampleur depuis qu’il s’est mis au drone. Remarqué par des maisons sérieuses comme Hibernate, Time Released Sound et bientôt Home Normal, Wil ne s’est jamais montré aussi prolifique. Même si certains critiqueront le fait qu’il sort peut-être trop d’albums en si peu de temps, nous n’allons pas gâcher notre plaisir de le retrouver encore.
J’avais déjà été impressionné sur Quarry Bank et Time Lapse, par la faculté troublante que possède le britannique pour capturer des instants beaux et statiques, et pour re-donner vie en musique à des moments qu’il a vécu ou à des paysages qu’il a contemplé. Under A Name That Hides Her, titre d’album puisé dans L’espace Littéraire de Maurice Blanchot, ne déroge pas à ce glorieux schéma qui a fait ses preuves, avec peut-être un aspect encore plus fragmenté, nostalgique et romantique que par le passé. Wil Bolton nous offre donc ici, une ballade qui trouve son chemin hors des sentiers de l’amnésie.
Sa guitare n’a probablement jamais été autant et si bien utilisée, noyée dans des field recordings de toute beauté. La saisissante impression que ses pérégrinations musicales furent suivis par les oiseaux amplifie cette dimension si contemplative et féerique. L’infusion, d’ondes et de textures en clair obscur, se diffuse dans les canaux auditifs comme un collyre réparateur.
Si ses voyages sont multiples dans leurs destinations, c’est définitivement lorsque il évoque la notion de déclin de lieux jadis splendides qui ont aujourd’hui céder au désert et à la désolation qu’il se montre le plus sensible et pertinent. Voilà pourquoi Dissolve etPassing, les deux derniers titres de l’oeuvre, revêtent des habits si particuliers et si saisissants. L’impression d’errer dans les High Lands d’Ecosse ou au milieu des ruines d’une forteresse galloise. Mais même quand il trace une tonalité peut-être moins occidentale (dans la texture du moins) sur Clearing, des lignes croisées sur le céleste et atmosphérique Skyview ou des tranchées plus contrastées et un poil plus sombres surBlackpoint (et sa mystérieuse source éternelle), il parvient à transmettre autant de visions et de reliefs musicaux.
Il y a dans l’approche de la musique de Wil quelque chose de divinement affectueux. Comme lorsque on constate l’humilité essentielle d’un réalisateur filmant ses acteurs dans leurs moments les plus humains, Wil évoque des sites et des lieux pour effectuer un hommage, comme un devoir de mémoire. Souvenons nous de son précédent Quarry Bank, et du reagard aimant et nostalgqiue qu’il portait sur ce que fut l’industrie textile des West Midlands. Cette tendresse et cette nostalgie sont encore là, même si la teneur est peut-être encore plus personelle et un peu plus abstraite.
Avec Under A Name That Hides Her, Wil Bolton nous rappelle qu’il fut également un enfant de Liverpool dans les années 80 et pendant l’épopée des groupes à guitares. Le définitif caractère humain et charnel qu’il transmet à son drone fait de sa musique un bienfait, pour l’âme et le corps. Mais parce qu’il est pressé à 200 exemplaires par Hibernate, tout le monde ne pourra en profiter. La patience n’est donc pas toujours une vertu.” – Chroniques Electroniques
“If you’ve been reading my articles consistently for a while, maybe you’ll notice I tend to say at least one thing a number of times, when it’s about instrumental music. Things like “this music should be listened to with headphones on” or “it’s something you have to listen to for yourself.” I’ll admit I was tempted to say this when I listened to Under A Name That Hides Her by Wil Bolton.
Incidentally, I did say similar things when I reviewed another album on the Hibernate label, The Licence To Interpret Dreams, by Antonymes: “I give my usual recommendations in that I suggest active listening with headphones.” I’ll add that Under A Name That Hides Her is also very ambient, too. It’s music I could imagine playing at a very low level and falling asleep to. (Perhaps you’ll find it humorous that I am writing and listening to it now because it’s 02:18 and I can’t sleep. It’s very calming.)
The press release I received for this album was actually helpful. I assure you that’s saying a lot, because I’ve read many information summaries on other albums that use flowery language to try to describe the music, more so if it quotes other reviewers. But this was indeed informative.
Despite being a difficult subject to put into words, nostalgia nevertheless attracts a great deal of fascination and is something that every individual can relate to..
..we are pleased to present an album that places nostalgia at the heart of its overriding theme.
It goes on to say that Wil was specifically inspired by guitar bands he listened to in his teenage years, like The Cure, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground, and My Bloody Valentine. That brought a smile to my face as the first two were bands I was introduced to in college (although I’d heard a Cure tune earlier than that, I found) and the others I knew at least by name from other friends.
And then there was an explanation of how the album was created: electric guitar samples passed through effects pedals and loopers. You’ll recall that I wrote about Loop 2.4.3 again recently, who created their percussion-driven music in much the same way. And maybe you’ll remember the conversation I had with Greg Cole (of Octopus Empire), in the Squids and Octopus: Yet More Music Blogs article. We were talking about the superior sound of hardware, analog synths. By comparison, taking an acoustic sound, even an electric guitar– it makes a difference. Although the backgrounds on Under A Name That Hides Her are fairly digital, it makes the analog foregrounds stand out.
Finally, there’s a fitting explanation of the choice of the album’s title, and how it relates to the theme of nostalgia:
The album title ‘Under A Name That Hides Her’ is a quote from ‘The Space of Literature’ by Maurice Blanchot and is a reference to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s a book that Wil read around 15 years ago and this quote in particular has always stayed with him. When working on this album, it somehow seemed to reflect that nostalgic, romantic yearning for something lost that inspired these tracks.
The implication is that although Wil dabbled with digital textures, there was a longing to return to beloved acoustic and analog sounds like that of Robert Smith, Morrissey, and others he listened to in years past.” – We Heart Music
“According to the website, ‘Under A Name That Hides Her’ is a LP release, of which the first 100 include a CD, hence I only got the CD. This is Will Bolton’s second release on Hibernate, and he also had releases on Time Released Sound, Cathedral Transmissions, Distant Noise and Rural Colours (which is a sub-division of Hibernate, apparently). In Vital Weekly he appeared before as Cheju which was more beat oriented. Bolton nows also plays live. The thematic approach for his new album is nostalgia, and sees Bolton playing guitar, inspired by the bands he liked as a teenager: The Cure, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine. This doesn’t mean that Bolton set out to copy his heroes. He rather takes the mellow mood of their guitar playing and offers a ‘heavily treated, droned out muffled and crumbling sonic environment’. Lots of field recordings, which add a charming hiss-like quality to the album, along with the guitar and lots of looping devices (or rather, perhaps, just lots of loops) and perhaps another sense of nostalgia comes in play here: a return to the world of warm ambient music, from Brian Eno to Taylor Deupree; thirty or so years of carefully constructing warm ‘tunes’ using a single instrument and a bunch of field recordings. ‘On Land’ anyone? Having said that, I also must state that I think this is an absolutely great album, of six excellent pieces of moody guitar music. A sort of shoegazing, but then of an altogether different nature.” – Vital Weekly
“This interesting release (the first on vinyl issued by Hibernate, adding a more remarkable patina to its main theme, related to nostalgia, whose musical translations seem to attract and fascinate an increasing number of listeners) signed by Wil Bolton aka CHEjU and titled from a quote referred to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice – “Under A Name That Hides Her” – echoing in Wil’s consciousness while reading “the Space of Literature” by Maurice Blanchot seems a sort of skinny dipping in the ocean of memories or I’d better say it’s a walking in unforgettable gardens if I consider the occasional field recordings with a specific spatial position (chirping birds or maybe call notes taken in the ruins of a medieval castle in Beaumaris, North Wales, seagulls and the lapping of waves around a lighthouse in Anglesey, noises grabbed during a rain shower from behind the window of his flat in Liverpool, other alluring natural sounds grabbed within a forest in Scottish Highlands as well as sounds taken from inside atrain during a journey in North Africa), a spontaneous mental dive which seems to have been conceived when Wil was looking for inspiration by many guitar-driven bands such as The velvet Underground, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine and The Cure he used to listen when he was a young pup. Those musical references are just rhizomatic and even if they look like dropping from tubular bells, nylon guitar plucks, electronic celesta and harp-like tolls, they’ve been masterfully amalgamated by Wil in the exhalations coming from inside his magical sonic cauldron taking heed of the main features of mnemonic process with bright sounds which suddenly black out, broken harmonies, blind alleys and cones of shadow. After “Time Lapse” on Hibernate and many release for other labels (Cathedral Transmissions, Distant Noise, Time Released Sound, Rural Colours, Boltfish, Kahvi Collective and so on), Wil Bolton comes back on the stage with the umpteenth great and catchy ambient record.” – Chain DLK
“On this rare vinyl outing for minimalist titans Hibernate, Wil Bolton, fresh from a triumphant and fast-selling release on Time Released Sound, is dropping six tracks of his trademark spacious minimal composition/droney ambience. Not only that, but you get an LP, a CD (with the first 100 copies only, apparently) and a download so you never need be without these blissed out tunes, whether you’re on the go or putting your feet up at home.
This is handy, because on this disc Bolton has really excelled himself, throwing together deep and detailed dronescapes with deliciously shimmering tones and slow, plaintive melodies which are reminding Phil here of Windy & Carl. I think it’s perhaps a little more distinctly melodic and less blurry than those two but it’s certainly giving me the same feeling of ease and contentment which they can achieve at their best. However, delve deeper and you will discover that on this album Bolton was in fact wanting to convey his nostalgia for bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s like My Bloody Valentine, The Cure and The Smiths.
Needless to say this record doesn’t sound a thing like any of those bands, but the sounds here are largely made with guitar that’s been looped and processed until it doesn’t sound much like a guitar any more. There’s the odd bit of field recordings here too, and general droney melodic niceness all round is the order of the day. I’d never have guessed that it had anything to do with nostalgia for the moody indie pop bands of his youth but it’s dead lovely regardless.” – Norman Records
“For his first vinyl release, Liverpool native Wil Bolton summons the mysterious sensation of nostalgia and memories of listening to guitar bands as a teenager. Ticking off the perennially acceptable influences list of The Cure, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine, Wil’s concept also refers to the Greek myth of Orpheus & Eurydice through its eponymous quote taken from Maurice Blanchot’s ‘The Space of Literature’, all together alluding to something, or yearning for something greater than itself. In this context Will plays wandering guitar drones using a matrix of FX pedals and loopers, accompanied by location recordings made everywhere from a medieval castle in North Wales to a train journey in North Africa and a forest in the Scottish highlands.” – Boomkat
“Hibernate es un sello que trasciende sobre lo delicado. La sutileza y versatilidad manejada por sus artistas es cada día más sorprendente, como se refleja claramente en “Under a Name That Hides Her”, el más reciente álbum de Wil Bolton, quien mediante grabaciones de campo mezcladas de una forma magistral con melancólicas guitarras procesadas, generan una fantástica reunión de sonidos que logran estructurar hermosos paisajes aptos para los oídos más quietos.
El disco busca realizar una apreciación sonora de la nostalgia, partiendo de una cita obtenida del libro “The Space of Literature” de Maurice Blanchot, quien hace referencia a al romántico pero triste mito de Orfeo y Eurídice, donde las emociones generadas son claramente protagonistas para la inspiración del Bolton, quien además buscó en las guitarras reflejar sus influencias adolescentes partiendo de las armonías de bandas como The Cure, The Smiths o My Bloody Valentine.
El disco se desenvuelve estremeciendo la mente segundo a segundo, partiendo con una pieza llena de vida y amplitud como “Clearing”, sumergiendo luego al oyente en las nostálgicas melodías procesadas de pistas como Skyview o Barbed , que a su vez se combinan perfectamente con sonidos del agua como se refleja en “Blackpoint”, o junto a cantos de aves presentes en “Dissolve”, y que decir de las intrigantes pasivas estructuras de “Passing”, el track encargado de cerrar los casi 40 minutos de disfrute absoluto, construyendo una amalgama de tranquilos entornos capaces de generar un sin fin de sensaciones, permitiendo que los oídos se pierdan entre los acordes, se encuentren con su más natural profundidad y puedan viajar libres entre las vibraciones de calma logradas por el artista.” – Azterisco
“Wil Bolton is one half of the team behind the excellent Boltfish Recordings, but he is perhaps best known as Cheju, his solo project, which has seen him release music on Percussion Lab, U-Cover, Smallfish, Static Caravan or Boltfish. He has also an ongoing music project with Murray Fisher, the other half of Boltfish, as Biotron Shelf, and has published an album with Mark Streatfield (Zainetica) under the name Anzio Green back in 2008 on now defunct Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction. Moving away from the crisp electronics and beats of Cheju and venturing into more atmospheric and ethereal territories, Bolton has, in the last two years, published a number of records under his own name on Hibernate, Time Released Sound and Cathedral Transmission.
For his second outing on Hibernate, Bolton has sought inspiration in the bands he used to listen to as a teenager (The Cure, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, The Velvet Underground), but instead of aiming at channeling any of their music, he aims to extract the nostalgic aspect inherent not only to the music these bands created, but also possibly to the fact of looking back at a particular point of his own life. The album title itself is a reflection on the young Bolton, who, aged fifteen, came across the quote, a reference to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, in Maurice Blanchot’s The Space Of Literature.
The music collected here, built essentially from processed guitars, is wonderfully delicate and textured. Working his sounds into a variety of drone forms, punctuated by atmospheric loops, contextual noises and field recordings, Bolton deploys quite an impressive palette of moods and tones, from the dreamy pastoral shimmers of opening piece Clearing and the equally bucolic Dissolve, on which bird songs and sliding textures blend in remarkably well, or the earthier Skyview or Barbed, both of which, while still relying on flickering guitar motifs, denote a more grounded, settled, mood, to the peaceful and introspective Blackpoint orPassing, which brings this album to a close.
While each piece is of a particular temperament, there is no sudden shift at any point through the record. Bolton brings each new composition in careful not to disturb the fragile atmosphere he continuously refines through the whole record. There is a richness of sound and textures which balances the melancholic aspect of the music itself, giving the entire record a wonderfully pastoral feel. This seems to be in direct contrast to the impact that the bands Bolton listened to while growing up may have had on him, but A Name That Hides Her sounds more like a reflection on the journey he has made as a man rather than a representation of his emotions as a teenager. It could indeed be the sound of a man having reached a certain level of internal peace. 4.5/5″ – themilkfactory
“Funny thing about getting nostalgic, everybody knows what it feels like but it can only be conveyed obliquely, since it is based on subjective memories of specific things. It is also a conservative sentiment, or at least preferable, inasmuch as it is familiar and often pleasing, even when it elicits feelings of longing.
Wil Bolton‘s latest album is by his own admission freighted with nostalgia for the music he listened to in his teens, recalled through the mauve haze of time that obscures precise detail. While his primary instrument is treated guitar, field recordings play a prominent and evocative role. They have been made in many places we’ve never been—the ruins of a medieval castle in Wales, a lighthouse in Anglesey, downtown Liverpool, North Africa and the Scottish Highlands—but recurring, fundamental elements, water and wind, trigger recognition and rekindle old memories.
“Clearing” is a beach in pale sunlight where the seagulls outnumber the people. Bolton’s guitar is at its sharpest here as it flecks the track like stray flashes coming off choppy water. The shoreline appears literally in “Blackpoint,” building up a shiver. Stayed too long and didn’t bring a sweater. “Skyview” sounds nostalgic for Brian Eno circa On Land. Though laced with static, “Barbed” is actually very soothing with its wandering, almost Western guitar. It could be urban—steel-belted radials on wet asphalt, or rural—the wind rushing through the branches of evergreens. “Dissolved,” pealing backward and forward and mimicking a harmonium or squeezebox, seems to be challenging the birdsong that appears throughout so much of this album. Finally, “Passing” is a kind of raga for pacing deep in thought along a pier that may not hold for much longer.
There are stories on Bolton’s mind, and these stories have created an energy in the form of six musical vignettes which are vague but lively, and thus speak to us all, regardless of how our minds capture their energy, not with acuity but with empathy and imagination. Under a Name That Hides Her is an accomplishment of sincere and subtle artistry.” – Igloomag
“Once you know that the musical influences of Bolton’s youth are embedded in this album, it’s hard not to smile as they all start to magically pop up at the fore. Those rich, jangly strums suddenly sound as though they’ve been ripped away from a particularly melancholic Smiths track and strung out into slow motion, wallowing in the minor-key resolve of one resonant chord instead of chopping in a catchy sequence between three or four. The guitar haze that blurs rhythm into mush begin to resemble those FX-drenched bursts that spewed all over My Bloody Valentine’s jams on Loveless. Nostalgia is a theme that emerges frequently within ambient music – commonly using distortion and processed as a means of conveying the obscuring of memory through time, as Bolton has done here – but viewing childhood listening habits through the frame of retrospect certainly makes for an interesting basis. This is a nostalgia that both tunnels into Bolton’s personal memory and also spills itself open for listener empathy, potentially taking its audience back to their own teenage record collection and thus allowing them to peer at the album’s inspiratory roots.
Nonetheless, it’s a concept that always teases with its provocation of intrigue. I can only speculate as to how Bolton has incorporated these influences, but which elements of these artists’ sounds really penetrated for Bolton? Which aspects stayed prominent and vivid in the mind throughout the years, and which aspects fell into the mire of lost details within the mass of ever-changing human memory? Clearly, their journey through Bolton’s retrospect – and then further on through the processes of Bolton’s own creative outlook and compositional choices – has shaped them into drastically different forms, leaving only tiny glimmers of the original sound studded across the crackly tidal flow and glitchy streams running through his music. And then there are the field recordings that cast tangible locations as the backdrop to the trawl through Bolton’s mercurial memory state: rich flutters of birdsong at a castle in Beaumaris, the sturdy crash of waves in Anglesey and the relentless patter of rainwater on the window of his Liverpool flat. Once again, intrigue abounds. Perhaps these are the places in which Bolton finds himself most overcome by nostalgic thought? Such questions keep this reviewer entertained enough, but when setting context aside and simply listening, the album holds up all the same; here’s a composer with a careful and mesmeric handling of his sonic elements, resulting in a work rich in breathing space and an intimately penetrative natural resonance, edged into the realms of imaginative abstraction through the slightest sheets of digital fizz.” – ATTN:Magazine
“Wil Bolton is een Engelse kunstenaar die gespecialiseerd is in sound art en klankinstalaties en daarmee sinds 2007 een goed gevulde cv heeft opgebouwd met exposities in o.a.: Zuid Korea, Ierland, Denemarken, Estland, Kroatië en Argentinië. Daarnaast is hij ook al een jaar of vijf actief als (laptop) muzikant binnen het ambient genre met een zestal albums als resultaat en waarvan ‘Under A Name That Hides Her’ (cd, Hibernate Recordings) zijn voorlaatste is. ‘Under A Name That Hides Her’ verwijst naar het boek L’Espace Littéraire’ van de Franse schrijver en filosoof Maurice Blanchot, een werk dat indirect ook de basis vormt voor dit album. Of deze invloed ook daadwerkelijk te horen is op ‘Under A Name That Hides Her’ is maar zeer de vraag en eigenlijk ook niet echt van belang, want de instrumentale stukken spreken voor zich zelf. Zonder zijn hand te overspelen zoekt Will Bolton het in evenwicht. Nergens confronterend experiment, maar juist afwogen klanken en structuren die aangevuld worden met sfeerbepalende en nadrukkelijk aanwezige natuur- en omgevingsgeluiden. ’Under A Name That Hides Her’ is een totaal van melancholiek melodieuze ambient met een nostaligsche inslag.” – VPRO
“Wil Bolton ‘under a name that hides her’ (hibernate). First up I’d just like to apologise for the slight oversight that has seen this quietly arresting opus taking so long to ripple to the surface, on to our turntable, into our affections and finally materialising into print. Reasons for such unforgivable ignorance or rather more – oversights – are born in the main out of reasons you’ll find elsewhere regaling the introductory ramble of a greeting that walks in this thesis styled missive. Our copy is the ridiculously limited vinyl version of said set which we are led to believe made its appearance in a pressing of 200 all of which have long flown the coup. Six suites sit nestled amid the grooves of this graceful and dare we say lulling sonic sculpture, according to the Hibernate press Mr Bolton has thus commented of it ‘being his least digital work to date’ further adding that the title is a quote taken from Maurice Blanchot’s ’the space of literature’. in essence this set is a nostalgic journey back to the albums and bands that moved, musically informed and shaped a young Mr Bolton as an adolescent – and while you’ll struggle hard to hear those cited references – the Cure, the smiths, my bloody valentine and velvet underground indelibly reproduced here the execution and the examination being played out here is of a Bolton now fondly recalling a Bolton then, the sonic recycling by way of not so much the songs themselves but the moods, the grandeur, the grace and the structure provoked and kindled within at the time are what manifest here. Crafted by way of all manner of processed guitars and effects pedals ’under a name that hides her’ wouldn’t look to far out of place cosying up to the label defining early career catalogue of Kranky – the softly measured and slow to burn mellow drone dappling of ambient arcs that caress throughout reveal an artistic affinity and a considered ear for the work of stars of the lid and labradford. From the frost tipped entrée of ‘clearing’ which like a thoughtful Harold Budd appears lush in its voluminous cinematic scoring inscribed as it is by the lilt of music box chimes and the pensive purr of pulsar riffage occasioned by the shimmer of strum sprays – Bolton is quick to reveal his adept tender artistry and attention to poise, elegance and space, blending dronal mirages and birdsong field recordings the sound-scapes assume a twilight toned morning song appeal cradled in enchantment and lulled in an affectionate sleepy headed tonality, impart to this a rustic and pastoral flair and what in its etching state might have once appeared monochrome is afforded a richly colourful vitality that’s ostensibly afforded tranquillity and solitude. None more is the latter exercised than on the drifting ‘black point’ – courted by an under swell of wave forms, the rippling reverbs quietly exact a sense of crushed lonesome introspection. Things lighten considerable for the airy and dream dinked and dozing ‘sky view’ – the playfully genteel lullaby like milky mirages tease out an elegiac tapestry that tip toes delicately with all the innocence and affection of an ice sculptured nursery room. The spell is momentarily broken with the arrival of ‘barbed’ which greets the opening grooves of side 2 – assuming a darker detailing this cut could easily be a signature for an as yet unwritten noir intrigue, recalling the cavernous overtures of yellow6, gnac, budd and barry this bruised and betrayed slice of regret ushers into the desolate calm of Roy Montgomery’s storm approaching pantheon with tear traced fortitude. Like it says on the tin ‘dissolve’ is awash in dissipating dream weaving choral structures that subtly opine to a demurring eastern accents which leaves the solemnly mornful and pensive ‘passing’ to wrap up the set and brings matters to a close in the kind of slow core symmetry that would make Codeine outings appear like speed freaked turntable terrorisers. Bearing in mind that Mr Sergeant – mentioned elsewhere – is busily sculpturing and mining similar sonic seams then one wonder what each would add to the other in so far as a rush of file sharing exercises.
Update – the Wil Bolton platter hasn’t quite sold out – though selling fast.” – God Is In The TV
“Anche Wil Bolton si è lasciato catturare dal fascino impalpabile della nostalgia.
A questo sentimento sono ispirate le sei composizioni raccolte in “Under A Name That Hides Her”, album che esalta le potenzialità più romantiche della sua musica, pur sempre incentrata su drone e field recordings naturalistici.
Se la traccia concettuale sottostante al lavoro ha in fondo accomunato molteplici linguaggi artistici, l’interpretazione datane dal musicista inglese è molto personale e di stupefacente efficacia.
Dall’ariosa apertura “Clearing” agli archi filtrati della conclusiva “Passing”, attraversando momenti di quiete e di tormento, “Under A Name That Hides Her” raggiunge le toccanti vette di un’ambient music calda ed emozionale.” – Music Won’t Save You
“Nous avions évoqué ce virage dans la carrière de Wil Bolton alors qu’il commencçait à composer sous son propre nom avec l’album Timelapse, sorti en 2010 chez hibernate. Après quelques détours chez Time Released Sound et Rural Colours, le voici de nouveau chez hibernate, s’éloignant encore un peu plus de l’electronica qu’il produisait en tant que CHEjU.
L’album s’ouvre sur des guitares lumineuses, laissant présager d’un album aux teintes post-rock / ambient. Flottement des accords, délicat accompagnement de tintements tirés d’un clavier et en arrière plan le piaillement de mouettes puisque les field recordings restent une part non négligeable du travail de Wil Bolton. Une rêverie lancinante mais rythmée au gré du tempo d’une guitare basse.
Direction le bord de mer ensuite, où l’ambiance se fait plus feutrée : les guitares oscillent entre nappes et drones, et jouent de croisements et oscillations.
Une dominante ambient donc, qui se décline de différentes manières, mais qui s’appuie toujours plus ou moins sur la répétition et un certain minimalisme, conférant à ces six pièces un pouvoir hypnotique. Des mélodies de guitare en boucle sur Skyview ou Dissolve, de lents accords métallisés sous une pluie battante sur Barbed, ou encore plus simplement deux notes répétées à l’infini sur le caudal Passing, ponctué de quelques cris d’enfants ou du claquement régulier d’un train.
Un disque finalement assez simple mais qui s’appuie sur de petits détails qui le rendent habité. Entre ses bruits du quotidien, ancrés dans le réel et une volonté de détachement,Under A Name That Hides Her parvient sans peine à nous faire décoller.” – Etherreal