Wavespan ‎– Tilling The Soul

Dark Winter ‎– dw053
12 × File, MP3, 192 kbps

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Dark Corridor 5:51
2 Piano In Slow Motion 4:27
3 Pillars 6:39
4 Piano In Slow Motion 2 4:43
5 Metal Field
Performer [Additional Sounds] – Lauren Borowsky, Ryan Villegas
6 Piano In Slow Motion 3 5:36
7 The Bridge (Part 2) 3:47
8 Piano In Slow Motion 4
Remix – WavespanWritten By – Caleb Deupree
9 Tilling The Soul 6:55
10 Tilling The Soul (Mystified Remix)
Remix – Mystified
11 Piano In Slow Motion 3 (Mystified Remix)
Remix – Mystified
12 Dark Corridor (Mystified Remix)
Remix – Mystified



All sounds come from organic sound sources. The majority of sounds come from field recordings of various metal and wood structures [bridges, sculptures, metal posts] in Santa Cruz County (CA, USA). 'Dark Corridor' was recorded on 4-track and performed with several household objects, bells, and voice. 'Piano in Slow Motion 1-3' feature recordings made in December, 2006 using a Bluthner piano and digital recorder. I also sampled and looped a tiny piece from dw019 for 'Piano in Slow Motion 1'. I have chosen the title 'Piano in Slow Motion 4' for a remix of Caleb Deupree's 'Cathedral,' from wh101. Caleb and I communicated following the release of wh101, which featured tracks from both of us. I asked him to send me the different layers he used for the piece (originally performed on piano), and I remixed and reassembled them into 'Piano in Slow Motion 4.' Ryan Villegas and Lauren Borowsky performed some of the sounds heard on 'Metal Field.' The Bridge (Part 2)' is a companion piece to 'The Bridge' from JON7NET029. The title-track was performed on gong and recorded on 4-track. Netlabel kingpin Mystified and I have worked on several projects together, so he did the final three tracks, which are remixes.

Mastering done at panicStudios


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June 3, 2009

Wavespan initially was a duo, but from 2006 onwards Phil Garrison continued solo. The debut album, "Wavespan", was well received by critics and seems to have been a genre-surpassing album combining elements of ambient, dub, hip-hop and noise. The net label Dark Winter has just released his latest album, "Tilling The Soul", and although this is clearly limited to one genre (namely drones / dark ambient), there is more scratching at the surface then you would initially expect.

The liner notes of "Tilling The Soul" mention that sounds from different organic sources were used (metal structures and wooden bridges) and a track like "The Bridge (Part 2)" indeed borders on field recordings. "Dark Corridor" and "Pillars" reminded me of the cold dark ambient of Heid, on their album "Arktogaa". "Tilling The Soul" uses a gong as its source and is interlaced with metallic scraping and clattering. It doesn't sound as noisy and massive as Raison D'etre did on his last album "Metamorphyses", but that gives you an idea where to place this.

For a number of other tracks Phil uses piano recordings and a sample of Formication's album "Pieces For A Condemned Piano". These pieces, "Piano In Slow Motion 1-4", have been sprinkled throughout the album. They are the somewhat lighter and warmer tracks, although part 3 is rather dark, and part 4 really reminded me of the hypnotising e-bow drones on Moljebka Pvlse's album "Sadalmelik". Furthermore there is a lot of cross-pollination going on. Other than samples from Formication, work of a certain Caleb Deupree is used as the basis of one track. And then there are the remixes of Mystified, who earlier released three albums on Dark Winter, that conclude the album.

Altogether this is a powerful and diverse album for lovers of drones and dark ambient. And for those who think that "drones" as a genre must be rather limiting, this album is a showcase of its potential. Recommended!

- Originally written for the Dutch weblog IkEcht, English translation by the author.