Posts Tagged ‘Rural Colours’

Hibernate Recordings have created quite a niche for themselves since their 2009 inception.  They deal in lovingly packaged music in and around ambient, electro-acoustic and experimental genres.  Based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire and run by Jonathan Lees, Hibernate is a small label with a big heart, managing to issue some 30 records in its short lifespan,  some of which are sold out.  Some notable LP’s include the Kanshin compilation, put together to raise money for earthquake victims in Japan and works by the likes of Strom Noir, Simon James French and Tom White. This imprint shows no sign of abating, following a recent move to release records on vinyl, Offthesky’s excellent ‘The Beautiful Nowhere’ is due soon as is new material from Talvihorros.  For this article, Jonathan found some time between running Hibernate, and its sister label Rural Colours, to talk about his favourite records that might have slipped under your radar.

Clem Leek – Home Again – Live Sessions (Self Released)

Beautiful piano pieces from a live session recorded at Benenden Church, Kent in February 2011

Herzog – Young lungs against the sea (Self Released)

Sparse piano-led electro-acoustic soundscapes and glitchy, unsettling atmospheres.

Listening Mirror – Wet Roads (Audio Gourmet)

Misty drones play out over the echo of human voices and echoing piano.

Maps & Diagrams – The Voices of time (Handstiched)

Incredible organic soundscapes.

Gareth Hardwick – Sunday Afternoon (Low Point)

Beautiful drone recorded in a single take using lap steel guitar.

Swartz Et – Nighttide (Utter East)

Lush guitar led ambience

Woodworkings – Goodbye homes (Future Recordings)

A stunningly beautiful melancholic blend of ambient, modern classical & post-rock-ish fringes.

Ex Confusion – Too late, they are gone (Heat Death)

Slowly developing washes of looped guitar sounds mixed with effects and extended synth atmospheres.

Darren Harper – Suspended Memory (Self Released)

Dusty drones, fractured textures, broken loops, and micro tones pulled forth from guitar, synthesizer, chimes, Tibetan singing bowls, kalimba, and field recordings.

Isnaj Dui – Circle of sleep (FBox Recordings)

An hour-long piece that was set out to explore sleep states and recorded from a live performance at the National Gallery London back in February (Free Download)

Many thanks to Jonathan and the Hibernate Collective for taking the time for this article.


Rural Colours is an off-shoot of the boutique label  Hibernate Records, focusing on an on-going series of subscription-based 3″ CDr releases and paid or free downloadable recordings.  Concentrating its efforts  in and around Ambient, Folk, Drone and other experimental genres, this label houses a number of interesting records with notable names including D_rradio and Celer contributing pieces to the impressive back catalogue,  nestling comfortably with newer names such as Listening Mirror and Zvuku.

Talvihorros, the work of Londoner Ben Chatwin, first came to my attention via his sublime 2009 album ‘Some Ambulance‘, a record that literally blew me away with its attention to detail, fantastic musicianship and downright excellent compositions. At the time, I called Chatwin’s debut LP ‘endlessly listenable’ and ‘the first port of call for those with even a passing interest in where electro-acoustic and ambient music is heading in 2009/10′. It’s a record I definitely intend to revisit again on this blog.

Solo Guitar Improvisation II‘ is as exactly as stated in its title, a long-form recording using differing guitar textures and effects, the difference being that it’s recorded using unconventional techniques  and implements including an ebow, a buddha machine, battery operated instruments and shortwave radio via an array of pedals and effects units.

Chatwin’s controls each sound beautifully, forming them into a cohesive whole.   From the scything guitar wails, the screeching feedback, free-form riffing and the layer of electric scree that seems to engulf this piece, there’s a deliberately tempered flow pervalent here and one cannot help but picture an erupting volcano when listening.

Unlike ‘Some Ambulance‘, this track is aggressive and relentless, yet isn’t exempt from the compositional flexibility that made that record so interesting.  It belies the fact that it was recorded live in one take with very little digital tinkering or over-dubs.   A phenomenal piece that’s not short on melody and one that reminds of the guitar and anything-goes experimentation approach of a certain Jonny Greenwood.  This is available as a free download, so there really is no excuse not to check this fantastic,  Rural Colours release out.

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Talvihorros is an experimental composer from London, exploring the possibilities of the guitar.  His compositions venture into the fields of ambient, modern classical, drone, post-rock and folk but fails to fall into the cliches associated with any of these genres.

Old and broken equipment and recording techniques are favoured over new and modern tools.  Both acoustic and electric guitars are layered with organ, synthesizer, mandolin, radio frequencies and various percussion instruments to create dense collages of sound, sometimes melodic, sometimes challenging but always captivating.

Live Talvihorros performs solely with electric guitar and effects pedals.