St Kilda: EP
Phantom Channel

Graham Richardson is nothing if not prolific. Not only does he have a new Last Days collection (The Safety of the North) on the way soon from n5MD but he's got enough material for a mini-release under the side-project St Kilda too. Keeping things about as uncomplicated as possible, EP is a modest 3-inch CD featuring four electroacoustic meditations, all of which are fairly simple pieces in terms of construction but they're effective nonetheless, largely due to Richardson's assured handling of the arrangements and the controlled interweaving of their layers. The most beautiful of the four is arguably “You Are In Every Dream” wherein Richardson weaves slow-motion streams of melancholy string tones into a stirring, hymnal mass. Elsewhere, he offsets the immediate appeal of the tracks' conventional instrument sounds (piano, organ) with the distancing noise of radio interference, distorted voices, and other degraded sounds. In “The Sirens,” a simple three-chord theme ascends behind a scrim of squalling noise, then subtly builds in grandeur as the radio sounds gradually fade away. “Clutching At Straws” likewise slowly swells into a mass of soft electronic flurries, church organ, and static pops and hiss until it abruptly disappears. Needless to say, with only seventy-five copies available, you'll need to move fast if you're interested.

March 2009