Lichen is a warm and crackly short record that sees Wil depart from his usual use of field recordings and these are replaced with sampled classical and exotica vinyl which plays out as a fuzzy, romantic listen. The vinyl loops were processed with granular and spectral laptop effects with additional effects-laden sounds of electric piano and Fender Bass VI. The overall sound sees Wil search for a slight departure in his approach to sound – with the work retaining Ambient feel but adopting the use of overdrive and distortion throughout adding a little light grit to the tracks. This was added with pedals, amp buzz, digital noise and vinyl crackle and threatens to disintegrate the acoustic and electronic tones on which they ride. These almost become a part of the wall of melody itself, as lichen would set into and become part of the branches of a tree.
All in all the three tracks of Lichen are relatively free from a clear and concise concept but Wil cites forests and tea as being loose influences; this is particularly poignant as you’ll be able to sit and drink a cup of your favourite loose leaf whilst listening to this EP in full, delving deeper into the forest that is Lichen.
Released by Audio Gourmet as a free digital download, 10 July 2016.
“Many happy returns to Mr Wil Bolton who celebrated his birthday recently by cobbling out a three track set for the Audio Gourmet label. And while you might think that was a bit of a flippant introduction to ‘Lichen’ let’s be fair about this and arrange matters into some kind of perspective, for sound alchemist Bolton is without doubt a rare talent whose intuitive grasp and technique in the ambient, neo classicism and soundtrack mediums blends and bends sound beyond the normal boundaries to finitely hone upon mood, atmosphere and space to a most delicate and detailed effect. ‘parchment’ greets entry to ‘lichen’ and finds Bolton in safe familiar surroundings, utilising an expansive micro sound palette, this sepia shaded ghost light courts a lilting intimacy both beautifully bruised and mournfully momentary, a sonic firefly aglow in cascading ricochets of miniature euphoric eruptions whose briefly burnt bright courtship sweetly fades to a dim forlorn nothingness. Bliss.” – The Sunday Experience
“Le esplorazioni elettroniche di Wil Bolton erano già iniziate, nel 2016, con l’Lp ‘February Dawn’, nuovo album facente parte dell’ormai numerosissima discografia del musicista ingese. Nel luglio dello stesso anno, esattamente il giorno del suo compleanno, Bolton ci regala un nuovo Ep di soli tre brani che continua la sua personale visione della natura e dei suoi ambienti.
‘Lichen’ ci mostra un musicista ormai esperto nel produrre musica ambient partendo da improvvisazioni live con chitarra, campionamenti, sintetizzatori, loop successivamente rielaborati in studio. Questi quindici minuti di eteree tessiture ambient devono considerarsi un Ep transitorio che, pur non mostrando sostanziali differenze con la precedente discografia, mostrano la consueta vicinanza a musicisti del calibro di Fennesz, del duo Pjusk o di Taylor Deupree. Un’elettronica calda, arricchita da elementi acustici, che non perde mai la capacità di avvolgere l’ascoltatore e di compenetrarsi nel suo ambiente.
L’elemento acustico è prioritario nella sognante title track “Lichen”, mentre minimi loop distorti fanno breccia tra i sintetizzatori di “Genmaicha”. Nel brano di apertura “Parchment” è il fruscio tanto caro agli appassionati dei vinili a creare quell’atmosfera sospesa tra antico e moderno, tra ricordo sbiadito e presente, che da sempre è uno degli aspetti centrali nella poetica di Wil Bolton.” – OndaRock
“Another Sunday autumn afternoon. As usual, I’ve forgotten a vital ingredient, hazelnuts this time, and I’m popping to the shops. The sun, weak as it is, is doing its best and I cut through the park. Gold and rust carpet the path, crunching underfoot. Smoke gently drifts from the allotments where diligent growers rake their plots and burn the trespassing leaves. It’s comforting, I loved bonfires as a kid. It’s getting chilly and I’ve left the oven on; I know I have to get home but I walk slower, enjoying the rustles, the smoke and the lowering sun now in my eyes. When I arrive, the cats are waiting. They know the damp mist will soon be brewing. Tired and hungry from an afternoon chasing falling leaves, they want their tea and the radiators will soon begin to warm. I have cakes to finish.
This is autumn as conjured by Wil Bolton’s Lichen, a three track download only album. Lingering, nostalgic, smoky, crackling. Perfect. The sound of autumn sun dazzling behind almost bare branches.” – Coffee and Flapjacks