A Thin Veneer

Courier Sounds

Electronic music seeks inspiration in many places, but I will say this project by Stewart Bowditch and Nick Dawson – their most recent project: A Thin Veneer sets a high standard in press releases. The paperwork that came with this nine track project has them “ploughing a sonic trench of improvised ambience…” And ambience it is, packed with odd little sounds and flowing melodic snippets and subtle, intense electronic animal noises that say, “We WILL break on through to the other side, and there we will find release.” Or they may find more tracks that tug gently at your conscience as a beautiful woman in a flowing dress and long blonde hair rubs the edge of a wine glass, dampened by her index finger and chardonnay. That note is my take away form track number 1: ” Soon We’ll Be Outmoded”.

Turning my attention to Track Number two, “Untethered” I discover a small pulsating sound cruising down the hall, as other repetitive sounds jump onto its sled…sounds of a 1960 office machine…urgent pulsation from a synthesizer wrapped in rags…electrical stutters A spark. Another spark. A “Brattling” sound. Moaning sounds from Middle Earth Eagles, soaring on a rising column of electronic thermals. An electric jack ladder encased in a plexiglass cylinder cries for freedom. And it gets that precious freedom: A release, the sounds stop, the plug is pulled, and damp bits of sound swirl down the digital drain of empiricism.

I have seven tracks left, I will skip forward, for your convenience, and approach the last track working under the name “A Thin Veneer of Civilized Modernity.” A tug boat chugs by, electric arc approach each other, and challenge. A formal, prescribe battles begins, jittering our senses and an ancient ritual plays out, long sonorous and mysterious. Mutant typewriters battle to the deadline, and becry: “Will we watch it to the end?” It’s almost seems as if the closer the two parties battle to the death, the stronger their future alliance will become, A blow, and formal as kabuki and a as rehearsed a professional wrestling and a mountain side slides down and thunder storm arises. I step back. The combatants step back they bow to each other. I bow to them. We bond, we depart. Sounds dim and fade. It has indeed been a sonic trench of ambient, all electronic and shiny. I wish you happy .


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