Szun Waves - Earth Patterns [Brown Smoke LP]
Format: Brown Smoke LP
Catalogue No.: BAY119VX
Release Date: 19 Aug 2022
Szun Waves’ third album, following New Hymn To Freedom (2018) and At Sacred Walls (2016).
Recorded over three days in London in 2019, with additional input from James Holden and mixer David Pye.
The album will be released on CD, black vinyl LP and limited edition indies only ‘brown smoke’ vinyl (900 copies for the world).
Vinyl editions include a spot varnished cover, printed inner sleeves and a download code.
The members of Szun Waves may not have been collectively in the same country, let alone room, for over two years, but that hasn’t prevented them from realising their third album, Earth Patterns.
The trio – comprised of producer Luke Abbott, saxophonist Jack Wyllie (Portico Quartet) and drummer Laurence Pike (Triosk/PVT/Liars) – recorded the album sessions together at the tail end of their 2019 European tour, locking themselves away in the studio for three days of improvisation. They emerged with hours of music, some inspired by their live shows, most born fresh in the studio itself, ready to be moulded into the group’s third album in five years.
However, with Laurence marooned in Australia, and Luke and Jack grounded in different parts of the UK, it meant an unexpected reassessment of the band’s creative remit, and the enforced long gestation period almost inadvertently ended up creating the most fully-formed Szun Waves record to date.
Where second album, New Hymn To Freedom, had its face tilted up to the heavens, Earth Patterns is a more grounded record, and in places, a more claustrophobic one: Wyllie’s saxophone squalls ripple in the background as Pike’s dense drums clatter, both shaped and guided by the atmospherics of Abbott’s synths. Moments of jazz harmony collide with cinematic soundscapes; long searching passages build into kaleidoscopic frenzies.
“I think the record we've ended up with is an emotional outpouring,” Abbott says. “There's a fluidity to it that feels like we tapped into something quite raw. The last record felt like drifting in space but I see this new record as a journey from the outer reaches of the universe down onto the earth, like a macrocosm to microcosm arc,” he explains.
● Earth Patterns will be preceded by three digital singles: ‘New Universe’, ‘Exploding Upwards’ and ‘In The Moon House’
● Dom Harwood’s video for lead track ‘New Universe’ is a brilliant distillation of what Szun Waves are - a marrying of the organic and the strange: spectral and widescreen
● Harwood has worked on all aspects of the visual identity for this era of the band, including the beautiful artwork that embodies the rich, detailed approach of Earth Patterns as a whole
● Previous album New Hymn To Freedom was incredibly well received, placing at number 4 in The Guardian’s Contemporary Albums of the Year list, and also featuring in end of year lists for The Quietus, Loud & Quiet, Get Into This, Resident, Drift and Bear Tree Records
● Support from Mary Anne Hobbs, Tom Ravenscroft and Shabaka Hutchings
● UK and European promo handled by Duncan Clark at 9PR
● Radio by Thea Hudson-Davies at Leaf
TRACKLIST : CD LP
1. A1. Exploding Upwards 2. A2. New Universe 3. A3. Garden 4. A4. In The Moon House 5. B1. Be A Pattern For The World 6. B2. Willow Leaf Pear 7. B3. Atomkerne
On New Hymn To Freedom:
“Here the woozy, dream-like electronic meditations of Portico Quartet saxophonist Jack Wyllie and synth player Luke Abbott are brought to life by Laurence Pike’s fluttering, fizzing drums"The Guardian
“Szun Waves jams come as swells, with a power that is hard to dismiss” Pitchfork
“Szun Waves landed with a bang on 2016’s At Sacred Walls, a spiritual quest born of improvised sessions between Norfolk synth voyager Luke Abbott, Portico Quartet saxophonist Jack Wyllie and PVT drummer Laurence Pike. While that album twisted Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra’s celestial jazz into otherworldly forms, New Hymn To Freedom rockets further afield" Jazz Album of the Month, 4/5 Mojo
“A gleaming universe full of wonder, possibility and galactic freedom”Electronic Sound
“These six pieces reveal the occasional trio’s telepathic sense of harmony, and and strike that broad sweet spot between James Holden’s rural exotica and Sun Ra’s tropical vibrations"8/10 Uncut
“Their unhurried, heady jams find power at the microcosmic level… These six tracks are complex compositions, but Szun Waves write and perform with the freshness that could trick you into thinking it poured right out of their heads” Loud & Quiet
“A beautifully crafted, exploratory piece of work” Album Of The Week, the Quietus
More From This Artist: