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David Blamey

Rural

Open Editions

Released: 2nd March 2015 | 2 track ambient ep

David Blamey's Continuous Tone project serves up a slice of concept art in a cardboard sleeve. [...]

Blamey is a 21st century exemplar of the artist without boundaries: he has numerous gallery shows to his name; he runs the book publishing imprint Open Editions; he is part of the teaching staff at the Royal College of Art; and he is now the curator of a series of 12 vinyl records issued under the collective name Continuous Tone. [...] The A side (Charcoal Bell) is a seemingly random assemblage of naturalistic clicks, crackles and glitches. It's like an organic version of a track from one of the clicks + cuts compilations released by Mille Plateaux. What lifts the listening experience above the purely quotidian is the recurring motif of gently struck bells that impart a gamelan-like quality, with echoes of Jon Hassell and even Aphex Twin. The bells are field recordings made on location in France - in a remote place, where nothing happens, says Blamey. I believe in a very light touch in production: no plug-ins and only light EQing. My thing is quality input: focused recording in the field and then endless time on the arrangements. Blamey describes the B side (Nothing Happens) as darker and more sculpted. It's use of unworldly insect drones and mosquito buzzes reminds this listener of Graeme Revell's Musique Brut Collection (1986) in which the now famous film composer transformed live recordings of insects into computer music that nonetheless remained, according to Revell, faithful to the essential 'Nature' of its source. It's an ambition shared by Blamey. My aim is to keep it real while making it sound unreal, he says.

Adrian Shaughnessy, The Wire (March 2014)

"“The underlying purpose of the project,” states Blamey, “is to treat sound as a medium for the production of art, just like any other. Different artists will be making new works intended to tackle a bias towards the visual, by concentrating awareness of the aural instead.”"
Adrian Shaughnessy, The Wire
"With this work, Blamey has created an artistic experience out of the immaterial, audible environment that is common to us all. By doing so, he defamiliarises our habitual surroundings and asks us to celebrate each ordinary instant."
Frances Loeffler, Curator