Release date: April 18th 2015
‘Make your soul take flight and soar beyond the crumbling ruins of the palace where once you roamed without a care. Ah, but your soul is not a bird, it is a sheet of paper torn from some great, ancient book and, if you look, look closely, there is nothing written on it, no message from the absent cloud in the sky that is no longer there, all you can see are sheets of paper blowing in the empty wind, the empty air.’
“This Life Is but a Passing Dream” is the debut album from Art of The Memory Palace; a group ascending through a cosmic void of pulsing synthesizer oscillation, narcotic soundscapes and enigmatic vocal echoes. The 9-song limited edition cassette reveals an opulence of shimmering drone, tidal waves of Kosmiche rhythm and cascading sheets of glistening electronic noise: silver sounds transmitting from a ghost radio station in the hinterlands where all is found and all is forgotten forever.
Conceived by an Anglo-Scottish duo – Raz Ullah and Andrew Mitchell – and buoyed by their collection of vintage analogue recording equipment, “This Life Is But A Passing Dream” serves up the kind of free-flowing sonic adventures that came from the studios of Popol Vuh, Harmonia and La Dusseldorf and embraces the tape experiments of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Steve Reich, as well as a commitment to improvisation as compositional process. “Raz and I recorded hours of freeform music. Jams, essentially”, recalls Andrew. “We revisited the recordings and built the album up layer by layer from the collection of reel-to-reel tapes we had accrued, bouncing tracks back and forth, giving them an analogue vapour quality.”
From the nose-diving synth arpeggios of album opener, ‘Sunblinded Capsule Memory Haze,’ to the heavy Motorik sprawl of ‘The Ghost Of Benno Ohnesorg,’ through to the soaring, euphoric release of ‘Waalhaven,’ it’s evident that the duo’s dedication to sonic adventure set the tone. “We wanted to explore the darker side of themes like morality, human nature’s intrinsic desire to ‘belong’, as well as both our collective past and the spaces in between”, explains Andrew. “Living on Scotland’s east coast with its history of ship building, seafaring tales, faded grandeur and proud, surviving-against-all-odds spirit provided quite a well of inspiration to draw from as well.
1.Sun-Blinded Capsule Memory Haze
2.The Ghost Of Benno Ohnesorg (Part I)
3.The Ghost Of Benno Ohnesorg (Part II)
4.The Ancient Mariner’s Burden
6.Valley Exit Jets
9.This Life Is But A Passing Dream
"This came from Scotland, but you’ve gotta look at the bigger picture: it came from space." [Norman Records]
"Dreamy, uptempo, atmospheric, lively all packed in multi-coloured pictures of sound. Excellent." [Vital Weekly]
"It's an edition of 100, but this sort of approachable, upbeat and nonetheless experimental music really deserves to sell in the tens of thousand." [The Quietus]
"Life is a passing dream, and death is eternal, but it sure does sound beautiful." [The List - album of the month]
"Captivating and compulsive. You will be fidgeting to it all night." [Goldmine]