Over the years, kranky and Room40 have been the fulcrum for innovation and era-defining sounds. As the post-lockdown creative world continues to be a landscape fertile for collaboration, one of the Chicago label’s staple artists, Scott Morgan a.k.a. loscil joins forces with Room40’s engine room in Lawrence English for their wonderful LP, Colours of Air.
A series of recordings from a century old pipe organ from Brisbane’s historic and criminally underused venue, The Old Museum, English and Morgan went on to shape these findings into protracted, electro-acoustic splendour.
Through the eight compositions which comprise of Colours of Air, English and Morgan showcase their intricate techniques, meticulous plotting and expansive range.
From snapshots bottled up in the ether (Aqua) to sounds inspired by the dark vortex (Pink), with a mixture of both (Magenta), in practice this collaboration is everything it initially shaped up to be on paper.
Beginning with Cyan. A gentle flash of sounds cascading across the glass as English and Morgan lull you into their world. The aforementioned Aqua sees English zoning in on his craft, with misty drones that curl around the mountain tops. It’s slow-motion beauty, almost distilling things frame-by-frame.
Yellow could have featured on loscil’s highly underrated album, Clara, if it weren’t for English’s addition of Room40 patina. While Grey and Violet lean on the origins of sound design, with the cinematic emotion that English and Morgan produce throughout both tracks, they go beyond the stark void that is sometimes associated with the genre.
And that’s the thing about Colours of Air. Through their respective solo endeavours over the years, English and Morgan have always explored and tethered the ideas of sound and emotion. On centre piece, Black, there’s no better example, with hope emerging from the miasma. Morgan has always been proficient in evoking that image of the sunrise reflecting sharply off the ocean; with English in tow, the pair capture a moment that inevitably ties the album together.
Like all successful collaborations, with Colours of Air, English and Morgan harness each other’s strengths and feed of it. As loscil, Morgan has always been a consistent producer never bound to trends or certain times. Carving out his own sound world from the beginning, he has firmly remained in it, and alongside English, with Colours of Air the only real surprise is that their paths haven’t cross sooner.
Colours of Air is out via kranky. Purchase from Bandcamp.
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