Boomkat Product Review:
Ian William Craig’s ninth solo album commits a breathtaking suite of ambient hymns that sound quite unlike anyone else in his field right now.
A classically trained opera singer, Craig clearly yearns for something more textured, degraded beyond the “perfection” of classical music proper; using analogue synthesisers, wire recording, hammond organ and innovative 18-deck tape “cassette choir” manipulations to isolate a lip-wobbling sound in flux with warbling harmonic partials and silty clusters of bust sound.
It sounds like music that has been sourced from the Zone with a geiger counter and exhumed in order to live its half-life, peeling and cracking in organic formation to reveal dredged memories and ribboning symphonies of disintegrating, autumnal colours wrested from a subconscious undergrowth.
In effect, he recalls the surreal medieval choral arrangements of Akira Rabelais, processed by William Basinski and exhaled on a frosty morning by Colin Stetson. But the well worn presence of his timelessly measured countertenor vocal really sets this sound out on its own, balancing sentimentality with a vulnerability bound to resonate and be felt widely.