IN LATE 2011, textura approached two of its favourite artists, Ben Chatwin (aka Talvihorros) and Damian Valles, to ask whether the two might be interested in contributing to a split release featuring newly created works by them. Much to our delight, the two, seeing themselves as simpatico artists, agreed and shortly thereafter produced the magnificent original material featured on 'Monuments and Ruins.' What they created amounts to an incredible and immersive listening experience whose detail has been mastered in all its resplendent glory by James Plotkin. Those wishing to draw a connection between the album title and the musical content might hear Chatwin's two-part work as having rendered the majestic character of a monument into aural form, while Valles' piece conjures a vision of ruins.
Talvihorros's "From Within A Hollow Body" begins with bowed tones panning forebodingly between left and right channels before growing ever more grainy and epic. A sound-world of immense power declares itself as various layers of bowed and plucked guitars swell into a seething mass, until the storm lifts and a gradual lessening of intensity brings about a relative sense of calm. The work's second part unfolds in an elegiac haze as guitars shudder against a smoldering backdrop of soot and grime, before a beautiful series of strums emerge during the final minutes to bring the piece to a graceful close. Valles' "Hollow Earth Theory" emerges gradually from a swamp of scrapes and flutter like some diseased phantom condemned to roam the blasted remains of unidentified terrain. Gothic and bluesy, the music unspools in a dust-coated stream of piano shadings and grainy drones, before its equally portentous second half finds it dramatically expanding in scale and detail.
With the artists having created such powerful material, it was important that the visual presentation of the recording be as striking, and with that in mind two powerfully evocative photographs by Jürgen Heckel (aka Sogar) were selected to complement the works produced by Chatwin and Valles. textura is proud to be able to showcase the artistry of all involved on this distinctive release.
Tracks 1 and 2 recorded by Ben Chatwin during the winter months of 2011-2012 at home in London, UK using bowed, plucked, and hit acoustic guitar, plucked and prepared electric guitar, bowed and plucked mandolin, viola, and Hohner Pianet; viola on track 1 by Anais Lalange
Track 3 recorded by Damian Valles in November, 2011 at home in The Kawartha Lakes using acoustic and electric guitars, piano, ukulele, AKG C 3000 B, Shure SM57, computer
released 10 June 2012
format: full-length CD (500 copies)
mastering: James Plotkin
photography: Jürgen Heckel
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