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seaworthy - 1897
This current wave of 12k releases arrives with an Antipodean theme - in addition to Lawrence English's A Colour For Autumn disc, this week also sees the sophomore 12k album from Seaworthy, a group who stood out from the label's roster first time around for having embraced organic, guitar-generated tones. This second full-length goes down a similar route, for the most part presenting Cameron Webb's guitar in all its natural glory during 'Ammunition 2' and the epic 'Ammunition 3'. One of the biggest contributing elements to the album is the veil of natural reverberation cast over the instrumentation; instead of relying on electronic treatments many of the compositions here are coloured by the recording location itself, a decommissioned ammunition bunker in Newington, Australia. The guitar pieces seem to share a firm grasp on melancholy, and each recording might be comparable to a less bluesy Loren Connors. When electronic sounds do arrive they take the form of lulling electroacoustics like 'Ammunition 6' which combines an endlessly sustaining tone with a whole soundscape of natural world activity, complete with birdsong, flowing water and other such tried and tested components of acousmatic microsound. While the Seaworthy sound doesn't stray too far out of the ordinary, it does come with its own distinct sonic signature, boasting a very organic, tangible sense of location and an approach to recording the electric guitar that's far 'truer' than the more customary cold, digital inertness you might hear from less discerning artists in the field. Highly recommended.