Boomkat Product Review:
Combining one disc of original compositions and another featuring remixes by the likes of Part Timer, Bracken, Portal and Epic45, this 2CD release from Bradford-based musician Martin Cummings is the inaugural outing for the Home Assembly label - an imprint that seems intent on cultivating the musical outpourings of West Yorkshire (their next scheduled release is from Hood founding member Richard Adams, whose Declining Winter project is another contributor to the remix disc). The Ridings draws together strands of guitar and delicate electronics - not in a Fennesz-esque sort of way, but rather by embedding lightly sculpted six-string textures in a tapestry of field recordings and plugin tweaks. Some of the music here retains a naturalistic quality, and the title track in particular has the feel of a Make Mine Music release, full of lyrical instrumentation and strange processed sounds, like chopped up seagull calls. Many of the album's best moments come from Northerner finding new ways of presenting solo guitar passages, and the likes of 'Lost Logic', 'Caroline' and 'Titus' all bring a dreamlike haziness to the instrument. Elsewhere, you may detect a more extreme 12k-type feel, with the folded, heavily compressed instrumentation of 'Cull' having a particularly close encounter with all things glitch. After this excellent first disc we're treated to a consistently surprising set of remixes, with highlights such as Bracken venturing into dubstep with 'Fin', Part Timer rendering gossamer sound sculptures from 'Lost Logic', Gareth S Brown shaping 'Sleep' into a modern classical chamber composition, and for the last track, Yuri Lugovsky drawing out a gorgeous drone piece from 'Titus', which is transfigured by glistening metallic resonance. Lovely.