Boomkat Product Review:
Arch isolationist Richard Skelton presents the riveting sonic results of a five year project in Iceland on Towards a Frontier, unfolding a 66 minute aural impression that masterfully renders the putative atmospheres conjured by Iceland’s famous volcanic panoramas and subarctic glaciers. It's a deeply absorbing return from Skelton, who has exclusively released his work under The Inward Circles moniker for the past three years.
Skelton is at his soul-ravishing best here, layering and abstracting his signature bowed strings to diaphanous and gloriously elusive effect in a keening, swoon-worthy play of light and dark, dissonance and harmony.
Over the course of the piece Skelton subtly refocusses the ear’s eye between vast, widescreen vistas, windswept veils of shimmering grey-blue harmonies, and close strokes of his favoured cello. In the process, the sonic quota of a broader project taking in photography, texts and videos - serves to metaphorically mirror Iceland’s ever changing weather patterns and cruel switch between interminably long hours of daylight and darkness, doing so with a geologically-timed patience and cosmic narrative arc that perhaps reveals its nature in a more visceral, affective way than any literal or visual representation ever could.
For fans of feeling like they’re thousands of miles from any other human being, or as an impassioned - yet never prescriptive - missive from an endangered ecology, Towards a Frontier is a significant work of timeless appeal.