Die Stadt

The highly anticipated pairing of Coleclough and Liles, two among the most bright-minded dispensers of unusual sounds from England, had already caused my mental bells to ring out joyously in advance. Geoff Sawers’ poem “I dreamt I was a river” is painted on the white cover of a double LP that, in its special 250-copy limited edition, also contains a CD EP featuring about 25 minutes of Coleclough’s original set at Preston’s Intergration 3, where the two protagonists first met in 2004. Liles (a prolific musician if ever there was one, with an average of an album per month these days, not including his collaborations with the likes of Nurse With Wound and Darren Tate) took the recording of Coleclough’s performance home and proceeded to “add, subtract, multiply and divide” additional source sounds provided by his latest collaborator. Each of the eight soundscapes on Torch Songs finds the perfect spot for every sound to exist and be accepted in that grey area where uneven energies try to work our knowledge into forgetting conventional codes and meanings. Elements of pulse are not totally absent in the manipulation of sound objects, location recordings and drones, each “torch song” analyzing them exhaustively, combining manifestations of real activity (including the wonderful voices of Nature) with a cathartic, profane consciousness of something that no religion or philosophy will ever be able to explain. The overall sense is one of solitary awareness, and it feels great. Torch Songs is a minor classic, and I look forward to a swift CD reissue (it often happens with Die Stadt) to save us from having to get up and change sides, and dispense with occasional distortions that appear during the most charged surges.

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