ARTIST: Robert Farrugia
FILE UNDER: Ambient, Shoegaze, Modern Classical
We’re back from holiday and without wasting any further time, we’re exited to present our tenth release, in the form of Ben McElroy’s ‘Bird-stone‘ which sees us veer down a rural folk route, perfect for the summer. The spine of this five track record fuses painstakingly arranged strings including cello, viola and violin with additional sounds of guitar, voice and not to mention some subtly-captured home improvements courtesy of Ben’s next door neighbour. Ben has also performed as part of more traditional folk bands but his work for us sees this woven into slightly more ‘Ambient’ territory, appealing to fans of Plinth, Richard Skelton and Padang Food Tigers. You can listen to a preview of the album by using the Soundcloud player below or keep a check on our Facebook page to preview the packaging when we share it.
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“Ben McElroy is a musician originally from The Wirral, near Liverpool (UK) who moved to Nottingham to do a music course around a decade ago and has lived there ever since. Ben’s sound is typically based around acoustic instruments such as guitar, strings and voice with a little additional computer based processing and his work is influenced by artists as diverse as Nick Drake, Gavin Bryars and Neu! as well as literary figures such as Virginia Woolf, David Mitchell and Philip K. Dick.
Ben’s previous material to date has seen various EPs released either under his own name or other moniker The Four Fishermen, one of which emerged on Dirty Demos back in 2008. He has also performed in various bands including folk-influenced Apples For Faces and Mucus Mules, electronica trio Howling Buddha and 8 piece pirate band Seas of Mirth. He also works writing and performing with theatre company Handmade Theatre.
For Whitelabrecs, Ben has produced ‘Bird-Stone’ which features pieces that are based mostly around his long and improvised recordings of cello, viola and violin set into a five track album that tells a story. The story isn’t clearly defined, however a warm and muted essence of traditional folk music portrays something that is rustic, of the outdoors and reminiscent of the British countryside. At times, voice and guitar join the strings with the recordings also capturing a neighbours home improvement projects which is fitting, given the title: ‘Bird-stone’ sets about drawing the lines between structures, inanimate objects and man-made buildings with nature, animals and mankind. It is pleasant and enveloping but a sadness can be detected, as Ben’s love for the natural world turns to fear of what humans are doing to the planet, nature and our future generations.”