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Monday, 14 December 2015

BRICOLAGE : VA "The Longest Night" Winter Solstice Compilation (bc005)

The Winter Solstice occurs little more than a week away from now on the 22nd of December.

The shortest day and the longest night of the year where the dark almost completely takes over the light and winter truly arrives. Here at Bricolage we're providing an early Christmas present, in the form of our own personal solstice soundtrack, from us to you. Back in November I asked the artists on the label if they would like to encapsulate, in music, what the solstice means to them. The results are nothing short of beautiful. 11 different tracks created specifically for the yearly phenomenon. It's free download at our bandcamp as always. There's a track by track breakdown below and some streaming links to bandcamp and soundcloud.

You can stream a preview a minute or so of each track from our our soundcloud below.

1. Liapei - If You Asked
Liapei start off the compilation with crunchy winter footprints, chirping birds and a beautiful solstice inspired spoken word piece. Warm synths soon appear alongside a calming drum track. The youthful Glasgow accent makes this track all the more poignant. The perfect opening track.

2. Sleep Maps - The Brief Sun
Another Sleep Maps track, another epic. "The Brief Sun" picks up the pace nicely with bright melodies, resonating guitars, rumbling bass and precision drums that throw up images of the low December morning sun.

3. Fragile X - Yalda
"Yalda" is an Eastern tinged instrumental guitar piece with it's roots firmly in lo-fi shoegaze. Swathed in echo and delay, the guitars simmer along gently and are paired with swirling melodious feedback remains to create a gentle winter calling. It's worth noting that "Yalda" is the Iranian term for the solstice, where families and friends come together to eat, drink and read poetry. It's a fitting title.

4. Mute Branches - (I'm Dreaming Of A ) Severe Weather Warning
A woozy and dreamy take on the solstice with chopped up vocal samples, experimental sounds and beautifully dazed sounding effects. The layers keep building in this intricate instrumental.

5. Chairman Cow - Dark Morning
Perfectly picked guitar notes and some flashing chords give way to a booming bass that has a dance hall feel. It's winter reggae! A wonderfully performed dub infused rhythm section and one hell of a hook on the most feel good track on the album.

6. International Debris - Daylight Sector 9999 [Further Verification Required]
A mysterious, spaced out number from our very own expert in that particular field. It's progressive keys are hypnotic and come across as almost symphonic. There's a mystical sounding element throughout that only serves to add to the enigmatic vibe.

7. Roy Or Bison? - Night Vision
An eerie hum and a thundering bell start off the darkest track on the compilation. Primal noises and atmospherics flutter their way in and out for the duration. Shadowy drones, murky electronic sounds and a load of tenebrous effects round off this ghostly track. Don't listen to it alone in the dark.

8. Jazzdefector - The Edge Of A Winters Night
A stunning drone based effort that drifts along flawlessly. Full of wonderful textures and emotion, it's a soaring and grand ode to the longest night of the year.

9. Microvolt - A Calm Place (For Jules)
This ambient track provides you with breathing space. It's a quietly vast piece that transports the listener to a very comfortable place. The sounds have been expertly sculptured and restrained to the absolute optimum level. A slow burner that you'll never want to end.

10. B-Side Boy - P*ssholes In The Snow
B-Side Boy is a new name on the collective. He's another pseudonym of the aforementioned Chairman Cow. Here, the guitar is once again his main weapon of choice but that's not starts off a little more melancholic than "Dark Morning" before taking a sharp turn into harmonica and glockenspiel based territories. It's by far and away the most Christmas type song on the release and the compilation is all the better for it. Someone get the mince pies!

11. Merriman's Ghost - The Shortest Day
A beat wanders along nicely, the atmospherics fade in and out in perfect harmony and then it lifts off with delayed guitars that provide a thermal glow. It's an introspective and poetic piece of music. Heartfelt and ethereal. A fitting ending to the compilation.

Major thanks go out to all the artists involved in making the release possible.

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