Boomkat Product Review:
The Beginning Of Time is an unfathomably enchanted distillation of new age, 4th world and electro-acoustic spheres from Jon Keliehor, a Glasgow-based American composer who can lay claim to working with both James Brown and Jim Morrison in his early years, and who was responsible for a series of coveted library music projects for London’s Bruton label in the ‘80s, including the highly acclaimed East Meets West in 1984.
Stemming from extensive studies with gamelan orchestras, a wide knowledge of outernational instrumentation and objets, plus Keliehor’s equally extensive travels, or “encounters in nature” around the Pacific Ocean, Scottish rivers, Venezuelan rainforest and Auric telemetry fields, The Beginning Of Time takes flight in similar fantasy terrain conceived by Jon Hassell and Brian Eno, or even Sandro Perri’s recent Off World album, but with an intangible borderlessness to his sound designs and the way in which his field recordings blend with lissom, organic harmonics without ever revealing the seams. And those harmonics are key to the magick of Keliehor’s compositions, which move with a lushly queered, lilting transience that recalls the computerised gradients of Roland Kayn’s Cybernetic generations, but again with a more natural or even supernatural timbre that hints we’re in the presence of some properly holistic, shamanic business.
Or, in Keliehor’s own words: “These ambient source recordings have come from widely diverse nature and industrial locations. I have hoped to reconcile the balance and harmony that music has with nature, listening for chance interactions, investigating relationships between primitive and refined attributes in sound, as well as these qualities in instruments themselves. The music instruments used are primarily acoustic It is a unique challenge to combine live and often primitive instruments such as those heard on these recordings into the mysterious wholeness of music. Yet with all the inconsistencies and imperfections of sound that acoustic instruments have, we find a relief from the perfectly sampled music sounds and repetitive loops in much of today’s music. Now it becomes possible to enter the more fluid world of subtle acoustic tones, to discover the living ambiences and spatial coordinates that exist around sounds, and see the performer's ability to engage in these aspects.”
It’s easy to start getting lost up when attempting to describe this stuff, so we’ll simply say that this is one of the most potent, transcendent albums of its ilk that we’ve heard in ages. And JD Twitch/Optimo is in clear agreement, calling it “an epically great album and my most listened to record over summer 2016”.