Jonathan Coleclough & Colin Potter
Jonathan Coleclough & Andrew Liles
Monos & Jonathan Coleclough
Lord Drone is unmerciful, showing those deluded button-pushers hiding behind their towers of Lexicons that amassing stretched lows, booming echoes and scraped metal is not enough. For many years now Jonathan Coleclough has been quietly working on a unique sound world, usually originating from on-site installations or simple compositional illuminations born from everyday objects, his output set apart by a gravity that is inversely proportional to an appreciable dearth of releases, placing him in the restricted pantheon of genuine dronemeisters whose statements cause vital repercussions. As to provide a measure of relief to those who missed some of those ultra-limited recent outings, Coleclough started October Editions to better document at least a part of his activity which, for good measure, includes other renowned luminaries in the field.
Bad Light consists of three tracks by Coleclough and Colin Potter dating from between 2002 and 2008. Featuring various types of raw materials (the first movement begins with gradually detuned steel strings), the adjective that springs to mind to describe it is “imposing”, particularly when besieged by the final thirty minutes, an evil-boding mood permeating the environment as you pace the room and feel how its walls and the corners respond to the diffusion of the sonic mass. Given the palpable psychological influence and the sheer vibrational power, this is an excellent starting point for the inexperienced.
Burn combines Coleclough’s creativity with Andrew Liles’ visionary mysteries, the couple having previously tested each other in the outstanding Torch Songs (Die Stadt). The surprise deriving from the scalar piano snippets characterizing the opening “Sunburn”, amidst the irregular abrasions and the preparations, is soon replaced by deceptively sluggish textures that morph unhurriedly with the passage of time, only partially disturbed by the manual tampering of undistinguished items (“Blackburn”). Vacillating organ clusters characterize large portions of the material, and a wonderful hurdy-gurdy – is it? – appears in “Heartburn”, which ends peculiarly with a guitar arpeggio. The concluding “Auburn” is defined by synthetic ghosts in classic Liles fashion. An enthrallingly strange, rewarding listen.
On Slowly Sinking, Coleclough is credited with the “additional processing” of a pre-existent effort by Monos (Darren Tate and Potter), Generators (also on Die Stadt). This is a CD that will appeal to those who just want to experience a pulse pushing at the nape of the neck for about an hour, which is the sensation that the ear-engulfing mix basically offers (excluding sporadic short noises and persistent single-note reiterations), but it doesn’t add anything much to a well known and already reputable album, and is the least essential offering in this quartet of albums.
Finally, Flutter, originally self-released back in 2002, is the ideal representation of Coleclough’s talent as an installation artist, being the acoustic outcome of such a construction at Sutton Courtenay Abbey in Oxfordshire in July of that year, in which he made use of recordings by Potter and a pair of fellow pioneers of the genre, Seth Nehil and Michael Northam. Flutter is a double CD set, the discs ideally to be played simultaneously for optimum results. As I write this, a rainstorm is breaking the tranquillity, mixing its violence with the birds, rumbling motors and watery rustles of the record. There must be a reason why things that elsewhere sound helplessly trite appear magnificent when these artists are involved. They merge with the surroundings marvellously, forcing me to stop and stand transfixed for a while.