3 Questions: Brook

Brook. Photograph by Lianne Burnham.

Brook is an electronic duo of Beth Brooks and Howard Rider. Two years in the making, the intimate songs on their debut album Built You For Thought bring together Beth’s schooling in blues and soul performance with Howard’s carefully-restrained synth arrangements.

With highly personal, carefully-shrouded lyrics that feel like we are reading Beth’s most private concerns, and Howard’s skill in crafting subtly dramatic accompaniments, Brook’s music is delicately poised between the futuristic and the human.

Built You For Thought is out now on Vince Clarke’s VeryRecords. Read David Best from Fujiya & Miyagi’s review of the album here.

What is your earliest memory?

Beth Brooks: Hiding under the bath from my two elder sisters at about four. I had made a den under there. I had to hide from them a lot as a youngster.

Howard Rider: Glancing down the street at four years old when moving in to a new family home, and seeing someone of a similar age who would then become one of my closest friends for life. I can still see him now!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

BB: Don’t always listen to advice!

HR: Live now.

Where are you most productive or inspired?

BB: When I’m alone.

HR: When there’s a strong element to work with, or something that excites me, whether that’s a thought, an emotion or a sample. The most important thing, though, is a strong vocal.

Built You For Thought by Brook is released by VeryRecords on September 20 2019.

Interview: Mat Smith

(c) 2019 Further.

Further. : Quarterly Report Q1 2019 & Playlist

Further. launched in January 2019. Its objective was to create a place where I could review things that caught my attention but which didn’t ‘fit’ Documentary Evidence, or where I didn’t get to cover that particular release for Electronic Sound.

During the first quarter of the year I reviewed 15 albums or singles, published one interview, and included a guest review written by Erasure’s Vince Clarke. It was a modest start to the blog, a testing of the water if you will. I will try harder during the second quarter.

Below is the full list of content published during the first quarter. There’s also an accompanying Spotify playlist including tracks from each record (where available on that platform), along with ‘Gallery’ by Californian electronic pop artist Dresage which completely passed me by at the time.

Reviews

Kaada – ZombieLars (Soundtrack) (Mirakel Recordings)
Kamaal Williams – New Heights / Snitches Brew (Black Focus Records)
The Silver Field – Rooms (O Genesis)
TOTM – Bliss / Blurred (Flickering Lights)
Karolina Rose – Invicta (Violet Sunset Records)
Neu Gestalt – Controlled Substances (Alex Tronic Records)
Lucy Mason – Flashback Romance (self-released)
Hugh Marsh – Violinvocations (Western Vinyl)
Bayonne – Drastic Measures (City Slang)
Modular Project – 1981 (hfn music)
Evelyn Glennie/ Roly Porter – One Day Band 17 (Trestle Records)
Maja S. K. Ratkje – Sult (Rune Grammofon)
d’Voxx- Télégraphe (DiN) – reviewed by Vince Clarke
Kilchhofer / Anklin – Moto Perpetuo (Marionette)
Jonteknik – Electricity (The People’s Electric)

Interview
The Silver Field

Playlist
Spotify

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2019 Further.

d’Voxx – Télégraphe

d’Voxx is Gaetano (Nino) Auricchio and Paul Borg. Together they have composed, performed and recorded Télégraphe, an electronic journey of beautifully-crafted melodic instrumentals. Every piece is seamlessly connected with field recordings from different subway stations from around the world, each one acting as an introduction to each of the album’s nine unique soundscapes.

Opening track ‘Opera’ is a minimal affair. A lonesome Baroque-like arpeggio subtly changes key throughout, giving a calming, almost pastoral quality, accompanied halfway through by an electronic click rhythm pattern which glues the whole piece together. ‘Akalla Norr’ is more urgent. The underlying groove seems to change throughout without any apparent time signature, an effect expertly executed via the clever use of Eurorack sequencers such as the Stillson Hammer and the Make Noise René.

The album’s title track starts as an ambient wash of underground trains and distant strings before evolving into something far less subtle. Raucous bass and drums break the surface and become the main driving force. The bass sequence stays fairly constant but the mad drummer (machine) seems to be improvising, a kind of release from the structured musicality of the rest of the track.

‘Aotou’ is perhaps the most robotic piece on Télégraphe. Although the bass melody is played on a Fender Jazz guitar by a human, it’s the machine-like percussion sounds and filtered sequences that drive the track relentlessly forward.

In contrast, ’Tempelhof’ is a futurescape, like something imagined from the opening scene of Blade Runner. This minimalistic soundtrack is full of space and it’s the space that conjures up images of Tomorrow’s World. ‘Akalla Söder’ makes me think of an ant colony, a sequence of scurrying insects, each with purpose, working together to create a unique and complete musical picture.

‘Dinamo’ is based around a repeated musical phrase that builds and develops as the track progresses. The hypnotic trance theme then morphs into a frenetic bass line which eventually subsides to mirror the opening theme. ’Skalka’ centres around a simple vocoder-like filtered sequence. The effect sounds like digital communication in an imagined computer network.

The final track, aptly named ’Terminus’ is beat-less, soulful and lonesome; the perfect ghostly ending.

In all, this is a meticulously-constructed album. The carefully-sculptured sounds have been created precisely with a treasure trove of Eurorack sound modules and sequencers. It’s a beautifully melodic piece of work with flashes of inspired improvisation.

The synthesizer marked the beginning of the electronic music revolution and the sequencer became the means by which these fantastically un-natural sounds could be utilised. Télégraphe is a fine example of what can be created with this ever-evolving technology, and paves the way for what is yet to be discovered.

Télégraphe by d’Voxx will be released by DiN on March 15 2019.

Words: Vince Clarke

(c) 2019 Vince Clarke for Further.