Petrels — Flailing Tomb (May 22nd, 2015)¬•♦•♦• “Barrett creates electro–acoustic sound masses of awesome density and power, and the listener can't help but be swept up when the cyclone strikes.”
¬•♦•♦• The fourth Petrels album is an inspired marriage of ecstatic drone, krautrock and synthpop, says Louder Than War’s Paul Margree.
¬•♦•♦• A breathtaking end to an engaging album, Flailing Tomb is Petrels’ best album to date and a superb achievement in diversity.Location: London, UK
Album release: May 22nd, 2015
Record Label: Denovali
1. We Are Falling Into The Heart Of The Sun 8:59
2. Thangen After Dothe 4:41
3. Orpheus 8:23
4. L Caution (part 1) 5:15
5. L Caution (part 2) 7:35
6. L Caution (part 3) 9:15
≈• Sounds and Scrawls by Oliver Barrett
A1 We Are Falling Into The Heart Of The Sun 8:59
≈• Drums — Simon Trevethick
≈• Electronics [Additional] — Ben Gaymer
≈• Recorded by [Drums And Guitars] — Wayne Adams (B1.3)
A2 Thangen After Dothe 4:41
≈• Performer [Additional Phonography] — Ben Gaymer
A3 Orpheus 8:23
≈• Choir [Choir Vocals] — Helen Mead, Holly Stead, Jemina Headey, Sarah Kaldor, Sarah Wayman
≈• Lead Vocals — Never Sol
≈• Lyrics by [Adapted From Dialogue In 'Alphaville'] — Jean–Luc Godard
≈• Recorded by [Choir] — Wayne Adams (B1.3)
L. Caution Parts One, Two & Three
B1.1 Part One 5:15
≈• Performer [Additional Phonography] — Ben Gaymer
B1.2 Part Two 7:35
≈• Double Bass — Innerwoud
B1.3 Part Three 9:15
≈• Drums — Simon Trevethick
≈• Guitar [Additional Guitars] — Ben Gaymer
≈• Recorded by [Most Of Part Three] — Wayne Adams (B1.3)
≈• Recorded by [Saxophones] — Alex Cook (B1.1)
≈• Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone — David Andrew McLean
≈• Limited to 150 pieces.
≈• Manufactured by — Pirates Press
≈• Recorded at — Bear Bites Horse
≈• Recorded at — Kolkata
≈• Recorded at — SSR Manchester
≈• Artwork by, Layout — Oliver Barrett
≈• Mastered by — Brassica
≈• Photography By [Photograph On Inner Sleeve] — Laura Woodfield
≈• Written–by, Recorded by, Producer — Oliver Barrett
≈• Issued in a 4–panel digipak.
≈• “Taking the exhilaratingly huge sonic expanse that Petrels has become known for and pushing it further still, Flailing Tomb draws on a breathtaking sonic palette of influences and instrumentation to craft perhaps the strongest Petrels release to date” (on the sticker)
A1 Drums and guitars recorded by [...] at Bear Bites Horse Studio, London.
A2 Additional phonography by [...] — recorded Kolkata, November 2014
A3 Choir recorded by [...] at Bear Bites Horse Studio, London.
≈• Lyrics adapted from dialogue in [...]'s Alphaville.
B1.3 Most of part three recorded by [...] at SSR, Manchester.
≈• All tracks written / recorded / produced by [...] unless otherwise stated.
≈• Also did the artwork and layout.
≈• Thank you Timo, Thomas, Isa, and all involved.
≈• This record is intended to be listened to loudly. For all lost causes.
≈• Made in the Czech Republic (on sticker)
≈• Track durations do not appear on the release.
≈• Official release date is May 22, but this was available earlier at shows.
≈• 30.01.16 Essen (GER) — Philharmonie (w/ Ensemble)≈• Petrels returns in May with thunderous new album, Flailing Tomb, to be released via Denovali Records. Taking the exhilaratingly huge sonic expanse that Petrels has become known for and pushing it further still, Flailing Tomb draws on a breathtaking sonic palette of influences and instrumentation to craft perhaps the strongest Petrels release to date.
≈• Flailing Tomb's underlying theme is a many–layered obsession with — and joyous celebration of — the defiance in persisting with lost causes. Building on the mythological foundations of previous albums — Haeligewielle, Onkalo and Mima — Flailing Tomb takes an underlying current that ran beneath each of these and pushes it to the fore. Flailing Tomb draws inspiration from sources as wide–ranging as Ursula K. Le Guin's speculative fiction, Indian–Celtic connections, self–mummification, Jude The Apostle (patron saint of lost causes), and Jean–Luc Godard's seminal sci–fi masterpiece, Alphaville (much of the second–half of the album is adapted from music originally written as an alternate score to the film), weaving all this and more into six intricately–layered parts — at once forthright and ambiguous.
≈• With a much broader range of instrumentation and contributors than previous Petrels albums — from the melodic cacophony of album opener We Are Falling Into the Heart Of The Sun, to the euphoric choral backdrop of Orpheus with a lead vocal from NEVER SOL and the epic motorik finale of L. Caution — Flailing Tomb is both an expansion on and refinement of the Petrels sound and an album that confirms the arrival of a singular artist.
≈• Petrels is the solo project of London–based musician and illustrator, Oliver Barrett. Since releasing his debut Haeligewielle in 2011, Petrels has toured across Europe and shared a stage with the likes of Tim Hecker, FIRE!, Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Trouble Books, Demdike Stare, Nadja, and Hans–Joachim Roedelius (Cluster). ≈• Having also collaborated with and provided remixes for artists as varied as Duane Pitre, Brassica, Talvihorros and Max Cooper, Petrels' output is proving to be thrillingly eclectic and unpredictable.
≈• On the second side of his 1975 album Initiation, Todd Rundgren served up a thirty–five–minute instrumental called “A Treatise On Cosmic Fire,” a risky act of self–indulgence that pushed the vinyl side's limit to its breaking point. The title repeatedly came back to me as I experienced some of the more intense moments — and there are a few — on Petrels' latest opus. Don't get the wrong idea: there's little sonically similar between Rundgren's piece and Flailing Tomb; it's the track title that seems to so indelibly capture the character of Petrels' oft–ferocious soundworld.
≈• For those in need of a memory jog, Petrels is the solo endeavour of London–based musician Oliver Barrett, who brings more than a little thunder to this forty–five–minute follow–up to his Haeligewielle, Onkalo, and Mima releases. But while Flailing Tomb is released as a solo album, Barrett is joined by a number of guests, including Never Sol (vocals), Simon Trevethick (drums), Ben Gaymer (electronics, guitar), David McLean (saxophone), and Innerwoud (double bass). Dedicated to “all lost causes,” the album draws for inspiration from writer Ursula K. Le Guin, Jude The Apostle (patron saint of lost causes), and Jean–Luc Godard's Alphaville (the lyrics in “Orpheus” were adapted from dialogue in the film).
≈• Barrett wastes little time in establishing the album's intense vibe, as demonstrated when the plodding opener “We Are Falling Into the Heart of the Sun” swells slowly but inexorably to a thunderous pitch. Here and elsewhere, Barrett creates electro–acoustic sound masses of awesome density and power, and the listener can't help but be swept up when the cyclone strikes. While “Orpheus” might be the most user–friendly of the album's six tracks, it's no less intense for shifting the focus to singing, specifically a lead vocal by Never Sol accompanied by a choir of five singers. Even when Barrett brings out the melodic pop side of the Petrels project, the musical result can't help but rise to a euphoric level.
≈• Perfectly designed to fill a vinyl album side, the three indexed parts of “L. Caution” (also Alphaville–related, the title refers to the film's protagonist Lemmy Caution) unfold as an uninterrupted, twenty–two–minute epic. By this stage of the album, the listener should probably have become sufficiently attuned to the Petrels universe to anticipate what might be coming, and sure enough the second part's molasses–thick psychedelic drone does turn out to be the proverbial calm before the storm. Stylistically speaking, Petrels isn't punk, metal, or hard rock, yet there's also no denying that the nine–minute closing part roars with the kind of dystopian fury beloved by headbangers everywhere. With Trevethick's drums powering the groove and Gaymer providing additional guitar, “L. Caution, Pt. 3” wails like a banshee, and when the vocal chanting arrives, the material begins to possess the kind of madness generated by The Knife at its most ferocious. If you adhere to the “This record is intended to be listened to loudly” instruction on the inner sleeve, be sure to have the windows closed first, as playing the material at high volume might be so alarming, the neighbours'll be pounding on your door and threatening legal action. June 2015 ≈• http://textura.org/
Written by Paul Margree, 22 June, 2015
By: Phil Johnston | May 22, 2015 |
≈• Idiosyncrasies often get in the way of actual meaning, but when I saw Petrels, aka Oli Barrett at Modern Art Oxford’s Midwinter Dronefest, parallels between worlds of performance art and installation work were easy to draw. This places the observation situation as forseseeing complex algorithmic potential, where snippets of dialogue or a melody are faint trace of a larger message. So maybe idiosyncrasies have a purpose in music, after all. Here is an album worth a full spectrum of parliamentary ambient circles, starting out with that pseudo–typical simalcrum Petrels symphonies, here projected into a giant octogenarian orchestra playing a giant hall. (Excerpt) ≈• http://www.fluid-radio.co.uk/2015/05/petrels-2/•≈•≈•≈•≈••≈•≈•≈•≈••≈•≈•≈•≈••≈•≈•≈•≈••≈•≈•≈•≈••≈•≈•≈•≈•