Phil Mouldycliff 'Fog Maps'
The new album from Phil Mouldycliff has finally arrived. A full length CD in a digipack featuring his artwork. These are tracks that Phil has been working on for many years, mainly at IC Studio, using sampling, field recordings & sound manipulation An immersive journey from Z to A.
Review by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekl;y :
When I wasplaying this release, I was thinking I know very little about Phil Mouldycliff, other than the occasional release he does with Colin Potter. I understand from the liner notes here that this is his second solo release and that two of the pieces relate to his as yet unpublished novels. "These both incorporate the notion of leitmotifs, that is, short recurring musical phrases which represent a particular place, person or idea". One other piece is a reworking from a piece from his first album, 'Written On Water' (see Vital Weekly 595)sand two pieces relate to places and photos, the latter on exhibit in a gallery. He also says he's inspired by 20th-century classical music and field recordings and all of this comes to the listener with very slow development. The reworked piece is the shortest at three minutes and one of the two from the exhibition the longest, clocking in at over thirty minutes, yet all five are shorter versions of longer originals. I don't have an idea what Mouldycliffuses, instrument wise. In 'Strandlines And Chines' I believe to hear guitars and bells (which made me think, maybe 'Chines' is misspelt and should be 'chimes'?), but in the other pieces, all the sound is heavily transformed and morphed around, and the outcome is full-on drone music. Field recordings, such as water and birds in the opening of 'Drowned Angels', is no doubt an obvious point of departure for Mouldycliff and his music is in that great English tradition where we also find Colin Potter, Darren Tate, Andrew Chalk and Jonathan Coleclough, or each of these people working together as Monos, Ora or Mirror. Mouldycliff's music is very much along these lines but the element of modern classical music shines through, such as in the slow unfolding melodic lines of 'There... Because!' and throughout his music isn't as dark as that of his peers. I could easily believe Mouldycliff uses fragments of classical music, heavily changed and altered, but of course, I might be very wrong here.I enjoy this lighter touch and his classical instrument approach (without things becoming classical at all) because it puts it a bit aside of all those darker forces and yet Mouldycliff also stays connected with his peers. It never becomes light weighted as everything is played and constructed with the utmost serious intent.