Review: Adrian Shenton & Banks Bailey - Wrapped in Clover (2012)


artist: Adrian Shenton & Banks Bailey
release: Wrapped in Clover
format: CD-R
year of release: 2012
label: Phono­spheric
dur­a­tion: 38:05

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Shenton and Bailey must have been orbit­ing one another for quiet a while, con­nec­ted at the very least by their work and col­lab­or­a­tions related to the Quiet World label. Now, though, they’ve truly met music­ally on this col­lab­or­at­ive album of field record­ings and ambi­ent music.

The first of these diverse tracks weds record­ings of water, chirp­ing birds, and insects to tones of gongs and other metal­lo­phones. It has a dis­tinct morn­ing feel to it, of slowly wak­ing up, and mak­ing tea the old-fashioned way in a lovely garden. A bit of a con­trast with “In Which the Goose Has Been Broken”, which - although it is still quite calm - has more of a night­time mood, with darker under­tones, crick­ets, and swathes of white noise.

The third track, “Dog Days”, is for­lorn affair, a sad organ melody drift­ing over splashes of water, tubu­lar bells, and occa­sional influxes of sounds from the bor­der of coun­try and city. “Even­ing Shadow”, finally, returns to the darkened feel of the second track, but with the heavy drones of vehicles going by and tra­vers­ing over­head occa­sion­ally, a bell tolling the Big Ben melody, and a calm sound­scape stretch­ing out until the end.

Wrapped in Clover is a rather unas­sum­ing record on the sur­face, with very few con­spicu­ous fire­works. How­ever, it nestles into your sub­con­scious very well over the course of a few listens, and it is excel­lent listen­ing while you are focus­sing on other activ­it­ies, and the repeat but­ton is tempt­ing to push at the end. The tracks are not too long and have enough vari­ation to hold part of your atten­tion most of the time. A very inter­est­ing record if you like ambi­ent atmo­spheres with upfront field record­ings.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Rapt in Clover (8:10)
2. In Which the Goose Has Been Broken (14:35)
3. Dog Days (7:26)
4. Even­ing Shadow (7:45)

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