Sunday, February 12, 2012
My thoughts on Earlyguard's "Continuo I-IV"
Epic. It's a small word that describes big things... and it is a word that is apt to describe Earlyguard's latest release “Continuo I-IV”. Consisting of four longform ambient pieces with a total duration of three hours and eight minutes... this is truly an epic release.
It presents a move towards Earlyguard’s more minimal, textured ambience and features a truly hypnotic ebb and flow. These somascapes may not have the narrative elements that characterise some of the sound-pictures he released last year... but they make up for this with their sheer epic scale and fully immersive quality.
This release isn't for the faint-hearted or the easily bored... the tracks presented are the true antithesis of a three minute pop song. These tracks need to be savoured... experienced... they take time and effort. If you want a shower then this isn’t for you... this is the audio equivalent of a long and luxurious soak in an old enamel roll-top bath... one that immerses you up to the chin.
I love ambient drones... especially longform pieces and Earlyguard is one of my most favourite artists in this arena. There is a humility that underpins his work which matches the stripped back nature of his compositions... there is nothing shouty or ’in yer face’ about him or his work... which is something I dearly value. His drones create wonderful spaces to just be... to think and to breathe... providing moments out of the maddening crowd, so to speak, and into a uniquely personal space where all the imposing distractions of life have been paused.
Maybe I read too much into these soundscapes... these sound-escapes... but that's what Earlyguard’s music gives me and why I am grateful for, not only his talent, but also his willingness to share this talent with others.
Continuo I-IV is a gift... an epic and deeply immersive gift... and one I am grateful to receive and consume.
Continuo I-IV is available now on Bandcamp for free. I have embedded the player below and would heartily recommend you having a listen: