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Onemind Presents Onemind

Goodparley & Ioan Morris – Surroundings

Subexotic

  • £12.58

Format: CD
Catalogue No.: SUBEX00076  
Barcode: 5060911680062
Release Date: 26 Nov 2021
Genre: Electronic

The concept of a “lockdown” album, recorded remotely is becoming a cliche at the moment, but the new collaborative project from Ioan Morris and Goodparley sidesteps all manner of cliches about the world and the genres they inhabit. Surroundings contains “Electronic Tone Poems” expressing deep aural musings of the world, built from Morris’ synth soundscapes and augmented by Goodparley’s layers of improvised guitar, reflecting both the isolation of the album’s creation but also optimism of returning to the wider world. Across five pieces they reflect a shared experience viewed from different perspectives. Ultimately, it is an invitation to close your eyes and lose yourself in imaginary destinations that may feel familiar or not, but all contain “beauty, decay, entropy and rebirth”. It is an album that both fans of Stars of the Lid and the Radiophonic Workshop will love. After getting talking in the now-defunct Buffalo Bar in Cardiff, the duo reconnected over an unlikely common ground. Richards had begun to reread the Narnia novel The Magician’s Nephew a book that Morris had just created an imaginary soundtrack to in 2019 (released on cassette by Bibliotapes) - it seemed fated and they began collaborating. Narrative music is something of a common thread for Morris, who is best known for his soundtrack work on Doctor Who audio stories, while Goodparley is a respected name in the underground electronic scene having released his “experimental ambient droning psychedelia” on labels like Strategic Tape Reserve and the Submarine Broadcasting Company. His band Silent Forum, were nominated for a Welsh Music Prize for their debut album in 2019. The combination of these two sonic CVs has produced something special on Surroundings. The album’s music is loosely conceptual, exploring spaces and places that only exist in the shared imaginations of the creators, realms of separate but shared consciousnesses, built via the internet in physically isolating circumstances. It soundtracks the imagined worlds outside of the restricted living and even of the restrictions of reality. “It’s called Surroundings because it’s a reflection of where we both were, literally and figuratively, in summer 2020. Since the start of the pandemic I’ve been going on daily walks around my local area and I’m fortunate to live somewhere where there’s a lot of green space,” suggests Morris. “Just leaving the house for a while usually helps me think a bit more clearly and in this case inspired a starting point for most of the tracks. I tried to narrow down the feel I was going for to a certain time of day. I don’t think that’s evident in the final product, but it was a useful way to think about sounds and tone, etc, and it was in my mind when we were deciding the final running order. In fact, Dan from Subexotic suggested we move ‘Lustre’ from its original spot at the beginning of the album to the end and we were happy to do that because it preserved the cycle of the album. I think you could start at any point and go round in order and it would work.” Such is the cyclical nature of Surroundings almost any song could be the start or endpoint and the achievement would be much the same, even given the album’s stark contrasts. Its music journeys through shimmering light to sombre darkness, always striking an optimistic, hopeful tone. Surroundings is a document of a particular set of circumstances and feelings, a collaboration breaking out of its limitations and creating new worlds. It may never be repeated or performed live, but it is the catalyst for further work from two artists who have made a stunning connection while working apart.

Track list: 1. Things That May Happen 2. Refractions 3. Have You Ever Seen A Portal? 4. Monad 5. Lustre

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