Loner Deluxe "Must Not Sleep Must Warn Others" (Rusted Rail, 2008)
Originally released on the Toyko-based Duotone label and has now returned home via Rusted Rail, bringing some old friends with it in the shape of a bonus 3" disc of previously unreleased material called "Lost & Found". The seasonal atmospherics of "Must Not Sleep..." leans heavily on frosted melodies and evocative acoustica woven into mellow, meditative and minimalist music, while the additional disc "Lost & Found" veers from gentle tone poems to ethereal folkways and dreamlike sonics. This double 3 inch hand stamped release is housed in handmade mini-gatefold sleeve.
Tracks 1-7 = "Must Not Sleep, Must Warn Others"
Tracks 8-15 = "Lost and Found"
Tracknotes by Loner Deluxe......
Frozen Grass - It's all about the attempt to convey a feeling and this case its that of being wrapped up warm against the winter cold, snug while watching the snow fall and crunching your way over a frozen lawn. Its one of my favourite times of year and this season surfaces more than once on this EP.
Sun Chime - Moving away from the winter wind to watch some super8 sunlight cast dancing shadows on the wall.
Listen to the Machines - Dave Colohan the Agitated Radio Pilot coaxed archaic sounding synth tones from his old keyboard and I looped 'em up and added two infamous old school breakbeats to get a groove going on. The result? Hauntology with a hop-hop beat.
The Beach at St. Malo - Aaron from Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon has some of his evocative piano playing tricked around with here. The beach sounds were recorded on my trusty dictaphone in the summer of '05 in France - my first time in the sea in years.
Empathy Player - Back in the winter groove. I've got a thing for reversed glockenspiel/vibes. And acoustic guitars.
Momentals - More winter warmth seeps from the vinyl crackle here. Kalimba and vibraphone dance around eachother. A lullaby.
I Must Have Fallen Asleep and We Drifted Apart - I sent the percussion track (an ancient drum machine via granular-synthesis) to Scott from Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon and he added his heartbreakingly beautiful piano accompaniment. Sounds to me like a melancholy satellite transmitting music to the spheres.
"Lost & Found"
Summer Turns To God (Redesign of The Declining Winter) - A redesign of various elements of a song or three from The Declining Winter's wonderful 'Goodbye Minnesota' album. Cheers to Richard for letting me mess with his music. I put this together in summer 2008 so it's the most recent track on this EP.
Faraway Trees - Based around a haunting loop of some magical psych-folk. Chimes recorded on my good old dictaphone in May 2004 whilst wandering around Edinburgh before a Four Tet/Fenessz/Animal Collective gig.
Walking a New Road - Sampling from videotape sometimes gives a lovely texture that can't be replicated by digital trickery.
Bonzai Radio - I bought an old taped-from-vinyl cassette of Neil Young's 'On The Beach' in a charity shop and at the end of the tape was this strange excerpt from what sounds like a pirate radio station in Galway in the late 70's/early 80's discussing 'the disco scene' there. It ended up fitting well over this moody oriental sounding track that I had concocted.
Dorset Sound (Redesign of Plinth) - My first ever experience with making music with a computer occured in Scott's old house in Shannon in the early autumn of 2003. I cut the track up again about a year later when I got my laptop and here it is. Out-take from 'The Plinth Tapes'. Mike Tanner is a gent.
Winternet - The producer would to thank the Lord Summerisle and the people of his island off the west coast of Scotland for their generous co-operation in the making of this track.
Exodus - Built around a delapidated piano loop with dialogue from a man of Earth.
Dark Like Snow - My first ever loop. It was late summer 2001 and involved me accidentally sampling John who was noodling on his mothers old accordion on a tea/hot port break while we were recording vocals/overdubs on the Starglow album in his house. He was in the stone-floored kitched with Aaron and I was at the top of the stairs messing round with the recording set up we had cobbled together - a minidisc recorder, a delay pedal and a fourtrack. Kind of inspired by Gavin Bryars. I got the title from a radio interview on a New York street that I heard on September 12th of that year.....
Another small and perfectly formed artefact from the increasingly essential Rusted Rail micro-burst of a label, this time a hand-stamped double 3" CD-R set in trademark purple card sleeve with abstract polaroid art and informative folded card colour insert. Collector heaven! What I know about entity calling him/her/itself Loner Deluxe could be inscribed on the head of a pin with room left over for a haiku or two, but there is no denying the acumen on display here, on conjoined releases with different purposes but equal strike rate artistically. 'Must Not Sleep Must Warn Others' was originally released on the Tokyo-based Duotone label and has now returned home to Rusted Rail to be re-purposed at part of this twin pack.
In a style one could describe (if one must) as folktronica, 'Must Not Sleep...' trades in the mellow, contemplative and pastoral weaving of melodies from ambiguous sources - possible keyboards, possible guitars, definite field recordings and icicle droplets of percussion. The connection to Dorset artist Michael Tanner (Plinth) is palpable (more of this further on) - the same sense of wandering through a tabernacle of antique instrumentation and dreaming toys is there, as is the innate calm induced by the recordings. Occasionally, beats and loops gently circulate, as on the track 'Listen to the Machines', which is helped out by Deserted Villager extraordinaire Dave Colohan on keys (identifiable from the sleeve notes). Some tracks are pure landscape, like 'The Beach at St Malo'. Occasionally the weather closes in, as on the brilliant 'Empathy Player', where sampled radio voices talk of extreme events over the counter-balancing jewel of acoustica used as backing track. 'Monumentals' creates further wormholes to the space inhabited by Plinth's 'Victorian Machine Music', while 'I must have fallen asleep and we drifted apart' closes the first disc with a melancholy meditation driven by guest pianist Scott McLaughlin (whose name pops up all over the place on United Bible Studies and Agitated Radio Pilot releases, and other tunnels through the Irish underground).
'Lost & Found' is billed as a bonus 3" disc of previously unreleased material, and forms a fine companion piece to 'Must Not Sleep'. Opening track 'Summer Turns to God' is the result of mail exchange of material between Loner Deluxe and The Declining Winter and is a schizoid being made up of acoustic guitars, primitive beats, sampled voice and "electrickery", all battling for headroom in intriguing fashion. On the previous Loner Deluxe release 'The Plinth Tapes', original source material was recorded in Dorset by Plinth and mailed to Loner Deluxe for collaging and beat generation, and that methodology is reprised on the track 'Dorset Sound', which crackles and hums into obscure electronic life like a previously unknown aquatic creature swimming into a collection net set by research scientists, finally emerging into the light of bell-like clarity (hopefully not stuffed and mounted). It's a great example of linear sound generation and subsequent scrambling and more can be found on 'The Plinth Tapes' for the curious. Elsewhere on 'Lost & Found', things are more fluid and contiguous, tone poems, sampled voice, sounds of the sea, beat propulsion here and there and much characteristic tinkling and chiming. 'Winternet' is typical if anything is, transitioning from delicate acoustic guitar and drones to thudding beats and back again. It all feels like some mashed up shortwave transmission from various parts of the world, orchestrated by a troubled savant for an unknown purpose, but somehow coming out as meditational rather than disturbing, which stands as exemplar for this whole project, really.
(Tony Dale) - Terrascope
I remember childhood the trips to the beach -- the seagulls swarming in the cloudy grey sky, the cold sea and the salty air that I was always told was good for me. I still believe the bit about the sea air, even through all the modern pollutants. Loner Deluxe is music that is the perfect accompaniment to looking at old Polaroid pictures of outings when you were strapped into your parents' car, whizzing off and shouting ,"Are we there, yet?" Traveling across strange lands, seeing the sea surface behind houses for the first time and the sadness at having to go home, with the flashing lights of the arcade still in your mind were the days I am reliving as I listen to this album. There's even a mini Polaroid type pictures stuck on the case. Stylistically, the music is a dub enthused Indie electronica. Looped acoustic guitars, field recordings and snippets of conversation create melodies of reminiscent respite and calm. Charmingly twee at times, bashful at others, Loner Deluxe are just one great big bundle of fun. Pianos feature heavily alongside the acoustic tones. Think Hood's early Ambient outings spliced with their latter day Cold House-esque drum patterns and you have Loner Deluxe. Also, if you liked The Declining Winter then Loner Deluxe walks the same autumn hedge lined roads. A 3" mini cd, packaged in equally small casing, this tiny gem hides big adventures. A remix CD is a great addition to the album tracks, adding some amazing angles to some already wonderful tracks. Stay in, keep warm, grab a drink and listen to Loner Deluxe. - Crumbs in the Butter
A double 3" cd in a purple sleeve would draw me in on purely aesthetic terms for starters, but once there the music made by Loner Deluxe has kept my undivided attention. Gently glitched acoustic instruments, sampled loops and speech extracts make this music feel like a journey.... like two short road movies passing through different episodes, albeit without the visuals. Dave Colohan (Agitated Radio Pilot) guests along the way and the whole thing is, as the late Ivor Cutler used to say, a pleasure and a treat. Highly recommended.
- Boa Melody Bar
Here's a cute double 3" CD set entitled 'Lost and Found' by Loner Deluxe on the Rusted Rail label (they released the Declining Winter album). Coincidentally this features a remix of The Declining Winter. Spread across the two CD's you get 8 tracks of nice ethereal sounding electro acoustic experimental indie a hint of folk and a dash of electronica. I don't think I squeezed quite enough genres in there but this certainly covers all of those bases. It's pretty stuff. A couple of the tracks have that wonky guitar sound that Boards of Canada used on the last album or in fact what Bibio use. Yeah I like this... some nice tunes on there which are casually stroking my musical horn. -
When I say I could listen to this tune endlessly you'd probably be stumped but then that's the magic of Loner Deluxe. There has always been a sense of the celestial about them and at this time of year 'Frozen Grass' sounds like the most seasonal composition imaginable. Loner Deluxe have consistently specialised in wintry song titles it must be said but 'Frozen Grass' readily conjures an image of a country door ajar with the cool night air teasing the wind chimes inside. The circular machinations of this beauty should entrance and if it doesn't perhaps the drudgery of life has robbed you of your sense of childlike wonder. ?Frozen Grass' can be found on the double 3-inch presentation titled ?Must Not Sleep Must Warn Others/Lost & Found' on the increasingly brilliant Irish net label Rusted Rail. - mp3hugger
Frozen Grass was also featured on "An Taobh Tuathail Volume 3" compiled by had the honour of being included in ATT Vol. 7 compiled by taste-making Irish broadcaster Cian Ó Cíobháin (Psychonavigation Records)...
"You’ll want to be tucked up when you hear the sounds of wind howling and bells tinkling in ‘Frozen Grass’ by Loner Deluxe" - soundsxp.com
"The most recognisable name on the list is Animal Collective, but they do not provide the best moment. 'Frozen Grass' by Loner Deluxe opens the proceedings with folk that sounds like it is seeping through from another magical world"- The National Student
The mood is set with the opener, Loner Deluxe’s wintry instrumental Frozen Grass, complete with wind howling at the door and icy sounding glockenspiel." - www.suitcaseorchestra.com
"Frozen Grass by Galway's Loner Deluxe is typical in the way it quietly insinuates itself with rippling piano over a bed of muted strings and wind sounds."- The Quietus
Available from rustedrail.com/lonerdeluxe2.html