Philip Jeck - Sand

FLAC Audio - 7 tracks

Design and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham

Track Listing:

1. Unveiled
2. Chime Again
3. Fanfares
4. Shining
5. Fanfares Forward
6. Residue
7. Fanfares Over

" ... the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity"
(from 'The Chariot' by Emily Dickinson)

Sand was recorded live in Holland and England in 2006/7 and edited in Liverpool January, 2008 using Fidelity record-players, Casio SK keyboards, Behringer mixer and sony mini-disc recorders.

Following Philip Jeck's acclaimed collaboration with Gavin Bryars and Alter Ego on a new version of 'The Sinking of the Titanic' (Touch Tone 34), 'Sand' is a set of seven new compositions that highlight Jeck's mastery of vinyl manipulation, personal and collective memories.

During the past year Jeck has refined and consolidated his unique sound, playing superb sets at last summer's Faster than Sound festival and at York Minster for Spire. He has recently released 'Amoroso' [Touch # TS01, 7" vinyl only with Fennesz] where he responds to Charles Matthews's homage to Arvo Pärt.

'Sand' is at once elegiac, celebrational, mournful and uplifting. Those who have followed Jeck's development since his first release, "Loopholes" (Touch TO:26) will observe his return to the industrial textures that coloured that collection, though here they are fused with his symphonic grace and continued development as a composer and live performer .

Philip Jeck studied visual art at Dartington College of Arts. He started working with record players and electronics in the early '80's and has made soundtracks and toured with many dance and theatre companies as we as well as his solo concert work. His best kown work "Vinyl Requiem" (with Lol Sargent): a performance for 180 '50's/'60's record players won Time Out Performance Award for 1993. He has also over the last few years returned to visual art making installations using from 6 to 80 record players including "Off The Record" for Sonic Boom at The Hayward Gallery, London [2000].

Philip Jeck works with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops turning them to his own purposes. He really does play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Philip Jeck makes geniunely moving and transfixing music, where we hear the art not the gimmick.

This is Philip Jeck's 4th solo album for Touch after 'Loopholes' [Touch # TO:27, 1995], Surf [TO:36, 1998], Stoke [TO:56, 2002] and 'j' [TO:57, 2004]. A companion vinyl release to Sand, 'Suite: Live in Liverpool' [Tone 28/FACT11] is being released on US label Autofact later this Spring.

He recently performed on "The Sinking of the Titanic" with Gavin Bryars in Rome, about which Boomkat (UK) said: "The most noticeable addition is Jeck, whose expertise and unique style seems to fit like the final piece of the puzzle as his crackles and motifs melt into the architecture of the recording as if they had always been there. This additional layer of nostalgia brought forth by these found sounds adds a significant sense of history, forcing the mind back into hazy film footage and decomposed photos, a perfect match for the subject matter."


Wringing alternative harmonies, and hidden gestures from over-used vinyl is Jeck’s speciality, and with a clutch of notable releases on Touch so far, his reputation as the enfant terrible of turntablism is without doubt, and still remains unchallenged for this listener.

Recorded in Liverpool, and Holland, SAND sees Jeck drawing from an impressive collection of obscure vinyl, twisted and permutated via his idiosyncratic inventory of Fidelity record players, filtered and distilled through effects, mixers and mini disc recorders. Jeck’s surreal hall of mirrors technique effortlessly generates a hybridised, lo-fi skrim, where one can occasionally pick out the source material, and witness it being subjected to all manner of distortions and deformations, generating an active fabric that is at once alive and constantly mutating.

Here, Jeck appears to have plundered his archive for old recordings of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, as their “Fanfare for the Common Man? emerges as a common theme, particularly on track 3, aptly entitled “Fanfares?. Sometimes, as on Fanfares Forward, the source material is xeroxed away into pure drones and texture, all detail has been erased, whereas Residue flips between perspectives, dropping in oddly paced sequences, creating a disorientating swirl of tones and overlays. Overall, fairly standard fare for Jeck adherents, and a worthy entry point to his work for the neophyte. Recommended. BGN.

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Philip Jeck - Sand

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