CNVR11 | 26.10.2006
Five Dreams For Sleepers
format: CDR | packaging: discbox slider
duration: 42 minutes, 5 tracks
limited to 75 numbered copies
In the wake of 'Silence' - how else shall we characterize the output-less period between his 'Castaway' release on Con-v and the recent collaborative release on Entr'acte? - or maybe rather out of this silence comes Scott Taylor's second release in about as many months. Compared to his previous work the sense of a certain (highly qualified) 'naivetée' is still retained, although now more poignantly constituted by a sense of purpose, an intentional structure, a cristallized, individual PRESENCE, bearing the proportions of these silential dimensions of its origin. An awe-filled sense of simplicity, of purity remains, most importantly with regards to the music's non-artificial character of spirit. It may be a strange place to find such emotional honesty - in a small niche of very composed and contained avantgarde electronics - which one would ordinarily rather search for in some scratchy howling blues-recording; but it is exactly here that the cards are shuffled and the truth is laid out. The point is made, the picture is presented, the map is spread out to embark from there on an exotic journey back into the white heart of blissful 'Silence'.
liner notes by Mark Pauwen
As its title suggests, this release by UK sound artist, Scott Taylor, is a quietly dreamlike affair, full of subtle textural shifts and evocative soundworlds, but it’s not always a restful one. As even an inveterate insomniac such as myself knows, dreams are rarely pastoral journeys through sweetness and light, and the most pleasant sleepytime journey has an undercurrent of the uncanny and strange. Taylor’s drifting, oneiric music has a similar tension flowing beneath its lovely, placid surface that makes it so intriguing. This is Taylor’s fifth full-length release, but it’s my first exposure to his music. He works primarily with field recordings, which he layers and processes into thickly atmospheric, yet engagingly melodic pieces. At times the sounds are relatively easy to identify (voices, the clank and whirr of an elevator, a distant choir), but more often they are processed into atmospheric abstraction. All the pieces on this beautiful CDr have very specific spatial qualities to them, with each sound placed with architectural precision into the overall soundscape. Unlike most successful ambient music, it’s difficult to simply bathe in the sounds, since Taylor is likely to pull you out of your auditory reverie and bring you crashing into the concréte with a delicately jarring snippet of field recording. Though quite beautiful, Five Dreams for Sleepers is not likely to lull you to sleep, which makes it a more compelling listen.
[ Susanna Bolle ]
Through a competent choice of events and an even more brilliant sequencing of the same, Scott Taylor manages to sustain attention throughout the duration of these "Five dreams". This music has an "evolved soundtrack" quality, leading the listener through different specimens of perceptive alteration; the "dreamy" origin of the tracks is to be found in the sapient mix of field recordings, oneiric minimal electronica and distant calls emerging through the haze (Giuseppe Verdi's "Va pensiero" is camouflaged amidst the impressive resonances of "Closedown"). Another lovely feature is Taylor's use of short compact melodies - some of them just similar to children's lullabies - that act both as an introduction to the more complex and introverted sections and as relieving return to peace after the most imagination-boggling separations from reality, the latter always pleasing these ears anyway. This is a sonic bijoux that, although not breaking any new ground, nevertheless owns a sense of peculiar painkilling radiance which makes its presence welcome any time, a nice and different item in the ever qualitative production of this label.
[ Massimo Ricci ]
“Five Dreams for Sleepers” is without a doubt a fitting title for this newest physical release from Scott Taylor on netlabel Conv. Much like our minds build dreams by intermingling and juxtaposing seemingly unrelated memories which, in turn, reveal more about these events than we probably realize, Scott Taylor brings to us five exotic collages of ostensibly unrelated - even insignificant when heard in isolation - sounds that take on a new life when allowed to merge.
The five aural “dreams” presented in this release span a wide range of atmospheres and emotions. “Slow Boating - Part 1” is sparse and eerie as chimes, bells, recorders, traces of percussion, and deep tuba-like resonations set a restrained surreal tone. “Slow Boating - Part 2” takes the album into noisier, more aggressive and denser territory. The sounds are darker and heavily processed - even the more subtle stretches that appear are more discordant and coarser than its predecessor. The interestingly titled “Monkey Puzzle” is an enigma as its sounds tread in that twilight region between noisy and dismal and harmonious and blissful. The composition is textured with the noticeable crackle of static - reminiscent of the sound of lightly falling rain - along with drones made from layers of field recordings, voices, acoustic sounds, and electronic processing. Although the first two-thirds are thick, chaotic and dissonant, it evolves into a beautiful and cinematic piece of solid orchestral-like ambiance. “Closedown” is a heavy composition of noisy electronic mayhem. A steady rhythmic backdrop of percussive sounds gives the track an industrial feel until the track dissolves into a watery blend of static and choral samples. “Something Simple for the Organ Grinder” is the ethereal finale with its own blend of smooth, organ-like chords, guitar, transparent tones, and light textures of distortion.
[ Larry Johnson ]
Scott Taylor's 'Five Dreams...' is a more sophisticated piece of work than you might initially imagine. The first thing that hits you is a lovely sense of simplicity mixed with a marvellously spacious sound with a lightly experimental style. Soundscape driven and featuring a superb set of found sounds / field recordings, the tracks then become more dense as you get through the CD. 'Closedown' is the most claustrophobic of the tracks with a seething bass rumble and pitch-shifted drone sounds. Con V release good things and this must surely be counted as one of the nicest so far. Deliciously challenging, yet utterly listenable. For fans of 12k and Line, a must.
[ Mike Oliver ]
Only recently Scott Taylor was featured in Vital Weekly (issue 537) with his beautiful collaboration with Srmeixner, but otherwise he takes his time to put out music. His previous release 'Castaway' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 457. It might have its reason, and perhaps it lies in the fact that he wants the best possible result, and it is needed that he endless shapes his music. Music that is largely, if not all, based on field recordings. Recordings that are at times recognizable, such as water (rain, sea) and sometimes not at all. All of these recordings are fed into the computer and processed accordingly. It is possible to place Taylor along people like Francisco Lopez, Richard Chartier or Roel Meelkop, but there are some important differences. Whereas Taylor's music is not loud at all, it is also never silent, below the threshold, like the others sometimes do. Also Taylor is not afraid of adding musical elements to his music. 'Something Simple For The Organ Grinder' is a somewhat bizarre title for a lovely playing on an organ, a gorgeous little melody. This is what truly sets him apart from his counterparts and brings him closer to Stephan Mathieu, but without the minimalism. Great work all together and something more exciting than the usual microsounding artists.
[ Frans de Waard ]
CON-V EDITION | 2015