Saturday, July 12, 2014
Loving ... "Alterations" by Earlyguard
I've been a very vocal supporter of Earlyguard’s longform ambient soundscapes for some years now. I really like the way he can take an idea and run with it over an extended period of time. "Alterations" is more of the same in this regard: an intriguing idea effectively executed in a longform capacity. However, there is something more to his sound on this recording that is most welcome, something more that takes Earlyguard’s longform soundscapes to the next level.
First off this isn't simply a drone. It is a soundscape that is, in parts, more in keeping with minimal or modern classical expression, such as Gorecki's Third, than solely Earlyguard's earlier drone work ... it is more complex ... more nuanced ... a soundscape that begins with a series of deep string-like chords that interplay with each other and a melodic glockenspiel-type sound to create something truly wonderful.
There is a cinematic ebb and flow that is intoxicating. "Alterations" has the air of the soundtrack to a dark, offbeat, Noir-ish film. This air continues throughout the piece.
The track does evolve as it progresses, however ...
At the 15min mark, for example, the strings change to a more harmonic synth sound, a very eery synth that interplays with raindrop-like bells.
Whereas at the 30min mark, the soundscape broadens out with a drone that feels very wind-like, blowing the bells about like wind chimes.
It does return the more film-noirish sound near the end of the track, bring resolution to the piece.
All these elements combine to create some tremendous sonic impressionism. "Alterations" by Earlyguard is a fantastic longform soundscape which is more in keeping with a soundtrack than a longform drone. He has certainly upped the bar for the other longformers out there ... and made what could possibly be his best recording yet.
Have a listen below and, if you like what you hear, please support Earlyguard by buying his music.