Album Reviews

photo(sphere): photo(sphere)

The Melbourne experimentalist returns with his latest project.

Adam Casey popped up on our radar last year with the brilliant Nether| Aether LP under the moniker of Adam Casey & the Liminal ChoirCasey’s collaboration with katherosKatie Walsh.

The Australian experimentalist (formerly of The Boy Who Spoke Clouds, Trappist Afterland and Seascapes of the Interior) continues to explore new ground with his new project, photo(sphere), releasing the self-titled debut album via the great New Zealand label, East Cape Calling.

In the press release of photo(sphere), while Casey talks about the influence of Brian Eno, he also refers to these compositions as ‘sonic poems’. It’s an interesting take, but the more time spent with these compositions, the more it rings true.

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While Nether|Aether’s linage was through atmospheric drones, photo(sphere) is a different proposition altogether. Rich in texture and range, with photo(sphere), Casey produces the kind of sonic snapshots that leave a lump in your throat.

Setting the tone of photo(sphere) is Relief (the day has ended). A sparse piano composition with a gentle rattling of strings that shines with grandeur.

photo(sphere) - photo(sphere)

And that grandeur is rife throughout photo(sphere). Bloom (after closing your eyes) and lead single, The Flower Shakes (the bird is gone), provide fantastical backdrops to a lonely amble where you are being bathed by fractured sunlight through the trees.

Meanwhile, Gliding Spectres (disintegrate), Smouldering Valley (grows quiet) and Silver Dust (in the midnight water) possess contrasting imagery, as Casey showcases the more cinematic side to his creations via field recordings and a brooding minimalism that steals your heart.

With colourful arcs and a tender thrum, Impression in the Dunes (your dream body once lay) is emotional intensity etched to tape. With a hymnal eminence just about unmatched this year, if this doesn’t bring a tear to the eye then you may just need see a doctor.

Nightfall (singing trees) continues to project exquisite snapshots. A composition to look up at the night sky and be wholly consumed, in many ways this is where Casey draws inspiration from on photo(sphere): open spaces and the environment. Things in life that provide the most happiness if only we spent more time immersed in these milieus.

And at what cost? The best things in life are often free, and on photo(sphere), through spacious arrangements and inner grains of sound, Adam Casey somehow unlocks life’s truisms.

photo(sphere) is out tomorrow via East Cape Calling. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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