Anzio Green: Autumn Honey
Symbolic Interaction

One could be forgiven for expecting that Mark Streatfield (aka Zainetica) and Wil Bolton (aka Cheju) would have served up a heavily beat-based set of electronica in their debut outing under the Anzio Green name in light of the recordings they've issued on their respective Rednetic and Boltfish imprints (as well as on other labels such as static caravan, u-cover, etc.). Autumn Honey is a different animal altogether, however. While the album—more a mini-album at thirty-seven minutes—doesn't wholly eschew beats, it's largely focused on sculpting meditative atmospheres and tranquil landscapes, something immediately evident in song titles that reference never-ending skies and wide-open spaces (e.g., “Marlborough Skies”). The instrumentation Streatfield and Bolton use isn't necessarily unusual—electronics, keyboards, and guitars dominate—but the five multi-tiered masses that result offer their fair share of subtle pleasures. Not surprisingly, the recording's richly-detailed panoramas originated out of travel experiences, specifically time Streatfield spent in New Zealand locales Nelson and Christchurch and the Mediterranean wine-growing region of Marlborough. Where there are rhythms, they're of the downtempo and lulling kind (e.g., “Distant Mountains,” “ Sun Dried River ”) and more centered on anchoring the gentle cross-currents of guitar and electric piano melodies that flow over top. Such becalmed ambiance makes Autumn Honey a recording ideally suited for the early morning or late evening.

November 2008