Following a run of critically acclaimed releases, New Zealand’s Alicia Merz returns once again under her Birds Of Passage moniker, joined this time by I’ve Lost – the solo project of US based experimental artist Bobby Jones. While Birds Of Passage is something of a Fluid Radio regular, Jones last popped up on our collective radar all the way back in 2010 with the excellent Dissociative Fugue, appearing on Portugal’s Feedback Loop label (incidentally, Feedback Loop’s curator Leonardo Rosado also created a collaboration LP titled The Dear And Unfamiliar with the ever busy Merz, still available from Denovali).
I Was All You Are commences with the title track, which at fourteen minutes takes up roughly half the EP’s length. The piece begins with thick ambient textures quite dark in timbre, setting a suitably charged atmosphere until Merz’s vocals join the mix. Indeed, the inspired pairing sees Merz and Jones move firmly into their roles from the opening number, each artists’ strengths complemented by their counterpart. While Jones provides a musical foundation and his work is in a complementary role, it is essential nonetheless and the artist shows both great restraint and a keen ear in order to play just what is necessary to allow Merz to shine.
On Never Said Goodbye however, it is the music (and, assumedly, Jones) which takes centre stage and the detail contained within the multiple layers of sound on offer bring to mind something of the essence of earlier Eluvium material. On this track, the artist proves himself more than capable of holding his own without vocal accompaniment and the piece adds an overall depth and variety to the EP. I Was All You Are then closes with Bullrush In The Sun, which sees each artist contributing in equal measure to produce a stunning finale.
Though a well-trodden music-reviewer’s cliché by now, I Was All You Are truly offers the listener an impressively deep listening experience and an attentive ear will be sure to appreciate the finer details of the deep ambient textures on offer, especially when offered in tandem with that voice. The duo produce a cohesive and beautifully unhurried work which serves as a testament to the worth of such ambient/experimental pairings when carried out correctly. In a collaboration of labels, Heat Death Records and Merz’s own recently conceived Cooper Cult label come together to offer I Was All You Are in a limited run of 12” record. – Fluid Radio
Birds of Passage & I’ve Lost – I Was All You Are (Vinyl):
- Item Price: £13.99
- Listed On: July 11, 2012