The journey on Erratics & Unconformities picks up where Netherfield Works left off. We take the canal towpath out of the city. We fork north shortly afterwards. Is this where it started? The terrain gradually becomes more rugged. Familiar. Wild. Evidence of human activity is less immediate in this glacial landscape. It’s there if you seek it. But easy to ignore. If you listen carefully, you can still hear the weight of the ice-sheet carving its way through the rock.Craven Faults bandcamp.
‘Netherfield Works’ was one of three 12″ EPs that I have recently written about (here), that make up the Lowfold Works trilogy. It is music that I have rarely found such empathy with, as I wrote at the time:
All in all these releases, and the first one came out in 2017, have a certain perfection to them if you want something that is full of musical history… and you can call off at some key places along the way… in a way that feels like your musical history.Album Appreciation: Lowfold Works Trilogy by Craven Faults
In one sense it is almost impossible to express why I feel such an affinity with this music, which it resonates with me on a really deep level. Part of this I think might be the way the anonymous musician triangulates their own journeys through the West Yorkshire countryside with moments of music in the past as an inspiration for their music. The result is something that feels like it is both timeless and time-bound at the same time.
It is timeless in the way that it relates to the geology of the landscape… little apparent changes as each track develops in a slow and studied manner; yet time bound in the nature of the music… the repeating themes and continuous drones. The idea that each track is somehow reflective of a particular moment in a particular studio in a particular part of the world, while also being related to a particular moment in time on a particular journey in a particular part of West Yorkshire; is a concept that just really appeals to me.
Somehow this triangulation; this bringing together disparate geographical, temporal and sonic elements, provide for me a sort of ambient holism that is almost spiritual in its effect… this for me is the very definition of psychedelic music in the way that it unifies these different elements together.
For me the word ‘element’ is the key one here because on one level these tracks do feel to be very basic… they seem to contain the building blocks of music in the way that they are stripped down.. they seem to be the foundations on which the listener gradually builds their own layers of meaning. They can, if you like, form the underpinnings of your own mind-temple… and if that isn’t the very function of psychedelic music, then I don’t know what is.
Across the one and a quarter hours of this blissful experience it is like we are invited by the musician behind this project to build a series of mind temples as we drift with them across these sonic topologies, as they say:
Everything in its own time. The output from the old textile mill Craven Faults calls home is no longer as linear as it once was. There was no clear start point for the project, rather simply rediscovering the joy in experimentation with no material goals.Craven Faults bandcamp.
This is a philosophy that I can really buy into, and music that I can really invest in. I really enjoy picking up bits and pieces of influence here and there… but most of all I really enjoy just sitting or walking with this music and delving into its beauty and its passion. And that is the attraction for me in the final analysis, because if you listened to this double album passively I imagine that it could seem cold and functional… but if you really engage you will find new universes in there, such is the depth to be found here.
‘Erratics and Unconformities’ is available now on the Craven Faults bandcamp here.
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