While no stranger to the label as one half of Orphic Signals and Ashes of Piemonte with Lee Norris, ‘Viridian Loops’ sees Wil Bolton release his first solo album for …TXT
As the nights darken and the winter chill starts to creep in… Let this album transport you to the exotic island of Sri Lanka, where Wil’s field recordings of his time spent there intertwine with the analogue warmth of looping synths and enigmatic, dreamy melodies.
Released 14 November 2018 on CD by …TXT Recordings. Also available digitally.
Written and produced by Wil Bolton 2016 – 2018 using analogue synthesizers, guitar pedals and environmental sounds recorded in Sri Lanka.
Mastered by blackparticle
Design by KodeTwo
“Never heard of Wil Bolton? With 15 solo albums to his name, he’s certainly been working hard to earn your attention. Bolton’s albums are explorations in instrumentation, taking us on a journey through drone, ambient, field noises and experimental electronica. He’s a master of the understatement. Albums build but never aim to reach the giddy heights of, say, Nils Frahm or Max Richter – this is much more subtle music and the magic is very much in how a single note can develop a life of its own and grow like a tiny flower. Tracks such as ‘Woven Geometry’ take you on a route from the familiar (dogs barking & birds twittering in the background) to a beautiful, unfamiliar place seamlessly. Likewise, ‘Vale’ starts with the sound of traffic and gently morphs into a rotating synth which becomes more layered & distorted in a similar fashion to some of William Basinski’s work.” – [sic] Magazine
“Wil Bolton is a regular in my collection. Through releases on labels such as Home Normal, Sound in Silence, Rural Colours, Eilean Rec and Dauw to name a few, as well as collaborations in The Ashes of Piemonte, Ashlar, Le Moors and others, he has been consistent in his quality of music. His most recent album “Viridian Loops”, released but …TXT came out on CD/digital on November 14.
“Dawn Sequence” straight away the sounds of Sri Lanka fill the air to be wrapped around by a selection of tones that either oscillate outwards in a near looped glitch like fashion, while others drone out like a harmonium. The hustle and bustle of the street recordings are somewhat mirrored by the tones, but the tones have a melodic heart to them which opposes the harsher transport sounds. The tones sound like they are spreading out in different directions, warping this way and that. With the beginning of the track they ease into the piece, but by the second half they become more intense, almost like they are growing as the track evolves.
“Canopy” I would describe this as a pure drone track, one that uses elongated motifs that move through out the piece creating a dense piece of ambience. The drones are complimented by a selection of field recordings (transport sounds and insects) and progressive Synths that sound in a way similar to wind chimes, in the way that they run. One can only imagine the environment in which the field recordings were captured and their relationship to the music and its title. I would hazard a guess that the environment was over cast, humid with the prospect of rain, as I get these feelings with this dense, thick piece.
“Woven Geometry” the epic track on the album is one that nicely pairs field recordings of insect and animal sounds with a variety of Synths passages. Much like the title, the elements are woven together and are balanced equally 50/50. The track follows in the darker sounds of the previous track, but also mixes it up with the vast amount of layering within it. Synths tones bubble and static horn like sounds float above a soundscape which is consistently moving and changing its texture.
“Returning Darkness” the drones this time have a rusted metallic edge as they cut across in linear fashion. Synths oscillate and bubble underneath with field recordings being layered under the them. Sonically the harshest of the tracks thus far, it still fits in with the established template of the album. There is a distinct weight to the piece that is probably due to its thick sound pallet and the way that it is evolving with the synths both adding a noisey edge, but also a hit of melody.
“Vale” On this track Bolton sounds like he has donned his cape and gone all synth wizardly. The music seems to combine proggy/ Sci-fi elements with open experimentation, natural ambience and oscillating keys. It feels like the equivalent of things like equipment dying with sputtering and random tones that have started to fade out from the tracks beginning.
“Viridian Loops” – Viridian is a blue-ish Green-ish color which has me intrigued in relation to the music and the field recordings. Not knowing a lot about Sri Lanka I hazard a guess it could be a reference to the environment, in particular the tea that Sri Lanka is so famous for. This could be explained by the image of the cover photo and the colour scheme of the art. This particular track sees Bolton return to the more ambient feel that he exhibited in “Woven Geometry” capturing the same influence of synth tones and field recordings. The Synths come in two distinct styles – long graceful ambient and a shimmering, looping wavy synth. Both work well together to create quite a relaxing track and one that is enhanced by the bird song of the field recordings. It is a nice way to end the album on a relaxing track.
I have to admit the use of synths in a way threw me slightly, but when you listen to this album and the preceding two, it makes sense as all three releases share similar qualities. The sound of this (and all three releases in fact) are rich and vibrant, with the field recordings being particularly crisp and make you feel part of the environment.” – Drifting, Almost Falling
“Le vert émeraude d’un joyau ambient
On avait laissé l’ex Biotron Shelf sur le mélancolique et dépouillé Transparencies enregistré à quatre mains avec le patron d’Home Normal Ian Hawgood et chroniqué l’hiver dernier dans nos colonnes, le voilà livré à lui-même sur le label TXT Recordings avec un album tout aussi rêveur et impressionniste mais aux flux tendus de textures et de drones de synthés autrement plus denses et enchevêtrés, à l’image de l’environnement qui lui sert de toile de fond.
Habités par des field recordings sauvages enregistrés au Sri Lanka, en particulier des chants d’oiseaux et des stridulations d’insectes, les instrumentaux du Britannique empilent en effet les boucles irisées de synthés vintage et d’effets, une géométrie entrelacée (Woven Geometry, merveilleux ballet de blips luminescents, d’arpèges pulsés et de nappes vacillantes) dont les méandres viridiens – un vert bleuté bien connu des admirateurs du peintre Véronèse – mêlent naturalisme et onirisme, abstractions tantôt pointillistes (l’ascensionnel Dawn Sequence), lancinantes (le plus inquiétant Returning Darkness) ou radiantes (Vale et ses motifs de synthés en miroir aux sonorités futuristes) et background sonore dépaysant, celui de la forêt tropicale de cette île du Golf du Bengale.
Ainsi, la musique de Wil Bolton, déjà croisé sur le label anglais en tant que moitié d’Orphic Signals avec Lee Norris aka Nacht Plank – co-fondateur de TXT qu’il côtoyait déjà au sein des excellents The Ashes Of Piemonte – évoque plus que jamais ici un flot métaphysique de vie et de pensées mêlées, où l’homme et ses questionnements, qu’ils soient erratiques et déstructurés (le morceau-titre) ou harmonieusement organisés comme peut l’être un écosystème (Canopy, dont les boucles d’arpeggiators transpirent l’héritage la kosmische musik) feraient corps avec la nature qui l’entoure.
Un bijou en somme, qui lance tardivement l’année du label mais n’est déjà plus seul à briller en ce début d’automne puisque TXT vient également de publier Croasa, collection de vignettes rétro-futuristes épurées aux troublantes harmonies de synthés analogiques dues à un certain au Voyage, sur lequel on ne sait pas grand chose si ce n’est qu’une évidente passion pour la chimie inspire les noms de ces instrumentaux stratosphériques en clair-obscur à la croisée du songe et du voyage imaginaire.” – Indie Rock Mag
“Si colora di sorprendenti sfumature esotiche l’ambience dai ricorrenti riflessi nostalgici di Wil Bolton. Il chitarrista inglese, solitamente molto prolifico, non presentava un album solista da poco più di un anno (“Night Paths”), anche a causa degli itinerari da lui condotti in giro per il mondo, per raccogliere peculiari field recordings, da associare alle sue composizioni.
Primo risultato di tale ricerca, che amplia gli orizzonti abituali di Bolton, è “Viridian Loops”, lavoro costruito a partire dall’esperienza di un suo viaggio in Sri Lanka, dal quale ha ricavato non solo i frammenti sonori concreti in esso contenuti, ma anche ulteriori spunti atmosferici e spirituali, svolti attraverso loop armonici e soffici strati di synth. Piuttosto che le abituali ugge britanniche, una solare densità ambientale promana dalle sei tracce di “Viridian Loops”, interpolate da una fitta trama di suoni aerei e naturalistici.
L’equilibrio tra gli elementi concreti e le prolungate risonanze di Bolton produce suggestioni di profondo calore ambientale, che alla pur latente nostalgia del viaggiatore antepongono scenari di luminosa ascesi meditativa.” – Music Won’t Save You