I’ve been neglectful about posting reviews as they come out for the past few months. So here are some. If you are interested in hearing the music, just head over to the main Silber site or the Silber Bandcamp or Spotify. It means a lot to me that twenty some years in that people still care a little about what I’m doing.
TREYVERB: A YEAR WITHOUT WORDS
So rarely does an instrumental album come along that is so good that I, too, am stunned into silence.
But Treyverb (known to most as Trey McManus) did just that with his debut, A Year Without Words. In fact, I was so drawn into the album, that I didn’t even notice it was an instrumental record until three-quarters of the way through.
It opens with “Jesus Overdrive,” a track that could be described as a punchy acoustic sound if it weren’t for the introspective ambient hum. The multi-layered song sinks into an electric haze at points, which mixes surprisingly well with the simple, twangy keys.
You swim smoothly into “Twin Velvet” next. It almost sounds like a variation of “Jesus Overdrive,” and maybe that’s the point. This second song, however, features more of the distorted and echoey electric guitar, with the bass lines taking on a steadying, driving role. Simple and soothing, “Twin Velvet” is also one of the most melodic tracks on the four-song album.
Next up is “Opus 72.” It moves slowly, with echoey punches taking you along for a wavy ride. Strangely serene, the song layers on forceful strings that fade into the distance before a sure electric riff takes over and dives into the ether.
Finally, we have “Sunset Stripe,” which also opens with quiet keys that echo and deepen into an electric monologue. As if carrying you into a sunset, the song deepens and blossoms with an electric guitar, and sparing drums. It’s the perfect end to a beautiful album.
~ Olivia D’Orazio, Raz Mataz Magazine
We meant to mention this a little while back when we had the pleasure of casting an ear over the latest Yellow6 salvo, this one being part of the recent summer selection from Silber records. A quite gorgeously mellowing thing, this is Treyverb who are currently to be found sporting an EP by the name ‘a year without words’ from which ‘Jesus Overdrive’ has been causing much adoring swooning around the gaff not least for the fact that it comes sighed in the kind of crystalline classicism that initially had us recalling a reflective Vini Reilly / Durutti Column yet which the further you dig, the seductive tender spray of the riffing sunburns hints of something steeled in the captivating poise you’d more likely encounter on a bruising beauty honed by the Church. Equally alluring is ‘twin velvet’ with its serenely seafaring palette navigating the kind of reclining drifting yearn whose lazy eyed lilt and appreciation of space, pause and poise delicately shimmers to reveal echoes of a contemplative Smiths in situ Marr.
~ The Sunday Experience
ELECTRIC BIRD NOISE: NIGHTTIME TIDES
Nighttime Tides is the new album from Electric Bird Noise, on innovative indie label Silber Records. Consisting of a single piece of music spanning nearly 33 minutes, Nighttime Tides is an ambient soundscape meant to evoke visions of the ocean. With flowing guitar drones, diverse textures and implied melodies, the piece exudes complexity, while retaining a simple listening experience. Like the sea, the music washes over you effortlessly, yet hints at a deeper artistic level that can only be enjoyed through active mental decomposition of the sounds on offer.
~ Floorshime Zipper Boots
BRONZE EYE + LD: ADVENTURES IN LOVE AND CULTURE
Five songs in five minutes.
From Silber’s diverse conceptual series.
Ambience, violins, found sound, poetry.
Musical theatre, distortion, echo chambers.
Like five truncated album intros.
~ Stuart Bruce, Chain DLK
CHVAD SB: PHEOMENALISM, CARTESIAN DOUBT, & BOMB #20
The US experimental-music creator Chvad SB was introduced a couple of years ago.
His latest release Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20 (available on bandcamp), although only a one track single is best heard when you have plenty of time to wrap yourself in the contusions as it lasts for over seventy three minutes.
Created by using feedback loops made, not by computer or human input, rather by a modular synthesiser. Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20 was a concept first considered back in 2014 and took four months to complete the recording. Despite being randomly generated loops the track has a hauntingly hypnotic organic sound.
~ Tim Whale, Emerging Indie Bands
Despite album artwork that seems to channel Heath Robinson, or Henrique Alvim Corrêa’s HG Wells illustrations, sonically this experimental album is firmly routed in the 1950′s, citing the 1956 soundtrack to “Forbidden Planet” as an influence and sounding very akin to early BBC Radiophonic Workshop pieces.
The single 73-minute piece is programmed, in the sense that it is generated by a series of rules and loops rather than in the more common sense of programming a synthesizer. It’s difficult to spot these patterns though, and the ‘lead’ element strongly sounds like a human being noodling experimentally on an old analogue synth in a freeform jazz style. Despite apparently being entirely generated by patterns, recognisable musical patterns are difficult to spot in the output, to the extent that I’m not completely convinced that it was algorithmically generated; I could easily believe that somebody performed this live, but that’s not to its detriment. The progression throughout is very subtle and slight, and again it feels more organic than mathematical.
There’s an accompanying video “response”, which encompasses the whole work and which may or may not be available online (it’s unclear whether this will be made public). While the audio may have strong roots in the 1950′s, the video belongs in the 1980′s- cheesy kaleidoscope effects, strobing video feedback loops, plasma balls and Amiga-generated graphics combine to create a visual that reacts to, but fails to compliment, the audio. The video element is expendable.
The album however is a really listenable, extremely retro-facing experimental work and a marvellous way to chill out.
~ Stuart Bruce, Chain DLK