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Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea 'Reveries' [LP] (UK import)

Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea 'Reveries' [LP] (UK import)

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LP on 180g solid orange vinyl. Vinyl housed in a 5mm heavyweight, matte jacket. Full colour center labels. Records placed in a full colour inner sleeve. Shrinkwrapped. 42min. running time. Limited to 300 units.

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​(Sonic Cathedral, 2024)

There is a particular, melancholy vibration that resonates through any given album closer, whether it’s in the arrangement and atmosphere, or in the basic understanding that an experience is coming to its end. A well-composed denouement can bring together loose ends, act as a thematic refrain or create an unexpected twist, but it’s always a defining element of the whole. With Reveries, Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea (the trio of Zach Frizzell, Marc Ertel and Damien Duque) offer a sustained embrace of this enigmatic mood across six patiently-evolving pieces, each of which manifests an aching, funereal fullness.

The opening title track emerges quietly in a swirl of strings the texture of tulle, while a foundation of warm low-end and sighing synths carries the piece into a pensive, pastel haze of overlapping vapors. From here the album pulses like a hibernation heartbeat, rising and receding in slow-motion, each entry a vital breath to ward off a crystalline cold. “Deus” eases its fittingly reverent grain into a glorious minor-key immensity, while lead single “Cadere” pulls together an evolving cast of orchestral instruments into a comforting devotional that exemplifies the artists’ growth and development across the past half-decade.

Like-minded stalwarts Stars of the Lid were known to work with string players based on their ability to maintain perfect intonation on the same note for minutes on end, with the intention of fostering lucid dreams during their performances – in a similar spirit, “Somnium” plays out in diffuse, shimmering melodic rounds while a roiling sea churns beneath. This piece might bear the closest resemblance to Frizzell’s (known as zakè) landmark Orchestral Tape Studies series, but in the context of collaboration it finds its own echelon of expressive allure.

The final act of Reveries comprises two angles of a view across the plain: “Vale” blossoms from a pair of sparse, alternating chord swells that transform into a soothing, angelic mist, while “Aufero” is a perfect coda that reprises the low-end rumble of the album’s overture under an aural cotton batting that evokes summer rainfall, or the idle hiss of worn tape.

According to the artists, the creation of this suite was “heavily reliant on improvisation, intuition, and allowing the compositions to exist in their own moment; the aim was a feeling of fluidity and a sense that every instrument has its place and purpose.” Further echoing the bedrock philosophy of many releases on his own Past Inside the Present label, Frizzell adds, “We live in an era of infinite distraction, where often the most valuable thing you can find is a respite for the soul.” With “Reveries”, Frizzell, Ertel and Duque grant us just such an antidote to anxiety, acknowledging inevitable ends but leaving the window open for whatever might follow.

Written by Thomas Meluch
​[Benoît Pioulard], November 2023

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