Anthony Paul Kerby and Tomas Weiss are familar names to followers of quality ambient electronica. Anthony has many respected recordings under the names Lammergeyer, Nunc Stans, and The Circular Ruins. Tomas most recently recorded as Nautic Depths and El Hadra, and is especially well-known for his deep drone work with Mathias Grassow.
Distant Shadows is their first collaboration and, as might be expected, it is something very special. Expertly crafted, rich with detail and brooding undertones, the work is composed as one vast and immersive journey through elaborate sonic landscapes and northern visions of isolation, serenity, subtle powers and hidden depths.
Final editing and mastering by APK.
Please Note that at DataObscura we are selling only the download release.
The physical CD (pressed in digi-pak) is available from el culto.
During the last decade, quality ambient music has found in the names of Anthony Paul Kerby and Tomas Weiss, two personalities of great depth who have, discreetly, given to this style a remarkable amount of work at the highest level; the first (APK) hidden behind several pseudonyms for his DataObscura label has been active since 2003, and the second (TW) known primarily from his collaborations with Mathias Grassow.
Over the years both followed two separate paths in respect to form, but extremely close in intentions, searching and finding in their music romantic, contemplative, and introverted dimensions, and seeking for understanding in the nature around them. It was almost necessary that a collaboration between both followed. In Distant Shadows
the ways of the two musicians converge at the peak of inspiration and what results is certainly something with the allure of a masterpiece.
The title track introduces us to the cold, gloomy, windswept panorama which we will face throughout the album, and which also is expressed by the wonderful photograph of the cover packaging. The quality of sound achieved is impressive, as well as the blending of the two musicians, so that it is impossible to separate Weiss from Kerby. What especially strikes the listener is the visual depth and textures that outlines in the mind a very concrete scenario of leaden skies, heavy clouds and north winds to which we trust the flow of our consciousness.
"Gathering Memories" develops slowly for eleven minutes passing through several moods: one of those fleeting spirals of tenderness and calmness, worthy of the best Harold Budd, are shown before disappearing in a dense foggy blanket through which we barely glimpse a synth that is icy and solemn.
"Eternal Return", on the contrary, proceeds on a drone, a single immovable tapestry, the tension and drama of which are breathtaking.
One may think that our relationship with a severe and hostile nature reaches a point of balance and peaceful coexistence, at least this is what "Everything Can be said", which dissolves in epic Roachian reverberations, makes us believe.
But, once again, it is a momentary illusion, a stage of exploration, because "Deep Time" clears out every trace of pale emotion. So we are swallowed by the cold, we wander without any sense of location, even the laws of gravity are abolished (do we ascend? do we fall?). Only the distant field recordings of "Figures on a dark background" set us free from this ephemeral state. Though nothing is the same as before. In "A final Vision" we turn to view a different landscape, designed by dark drone, in which only emptiness and despair are shown.
is a long and complex work, with perfections and virtuosities but also deep abysmal suggestions - the result of the power of vision by two mature and passionate musicians.
- Roberto Rizzo
, Ondarock - Italy / Translated Version
delivers truly immersive drifting soundworlds evoking remote and spacious landscapes surrounded by dense fog. It opens with shorter title track "Distant Shadows" that sets the drifting atmosphere for the rest of this expansive journey. "Gathering Memories" keeps its slow-motion floating, but it's nicely colored on the background by some organic and industrial field-recordings. Deep, dark and immense, definitely the first highlight! But it goes on, the pure beauty of minimal oriented textures fully unfolds on 13-minute long piece "Eternal Return", magnificent! Nice peaceful, but monumental moody soundwalls with environmental recordings continue on "Everything That Can Be Said". Dense "Deep Time" is grandiose too! "Figures On A Dark Background" is the most organic piece although it features some beautiful and evocative heavenly choirs and voices. As the title also suggests, this is the most mysterious contribution on "Distant Shadows". "A Final Vision" returns to more drifting mode with a hint of dramatic passages, nice finale!
is delicate drone music and not only a deep listening experience, but also a highly relaxing one too!!! It's hard to exactly distinguish what Anthony and what Tomas brought to the table, but I don't care about this, because whatever it was, I liked it. Well done teamwork, Anthony & Tomas, and a very promising overture for the Construct label!!!
- Richard Gürtler
Release Date April 2011
Download mp3 encoded at 320kb