FARFIELD. Beginning To Freeze. Emusic.com Release.
In the complex world of ambient music, only the serious listener
takes any notice of these unusual textures. This is despite the
fact that many have heard an abundance of this style. Advertisements
and background scores for holiday and educational programmes are
riddled with excerpts and so perhaps people should take more than
a brief passing interest. Any thoughts of consigning albums such
as this one to the musical dustbin of history are indeed behind
the times. The eleven tracks all have a great feel and some are
very majestic in their outlook including the stunning title track
and opener. I adore Red Isotopes, with its icy persona and ultimate
desolation providing some of the most evocative music you're likely
to hear this side of the millennium. In contrast Narcotic Shade
is much more up-tempo with a beat and a very haunting melody line.
Beginning To Melt lasts for less than a couple of min. and so doesn't
fall into the assumed category of long drawn out laborious pieces
and has a guitar feel to it. Neon is pure brilliance with great
bass notations, perfect understated piano playing and sympathetic
percussion - I could so easily just listen to this one track. The
11 tracks were written between 1994 and 2001 and most have not been
previously released. The only exceptions are a couple of tracks
for compilations. I have difficulty in accepting that most of his
music has been hidden away from public view as though the standard
is not high enough. If this is his worst, then his best must be
exceptional. I have already mentioned the title track, which is
stunning and so is the rest of the album. Order it now. (Brooky)
It is only available on CDR through the website www.ambientmusic.co.uk/freeze.html
or to Emusic.com subscribers.
review from Modern Dance Magazine, June 2002
'DUST AND GLASS'
Farfield, the project of Glastonbury-born Dr. Nick Webb, is rapidly
gaining a reputation in Britain for his darkly minimalist ambient
music, which combines the strangest and most unlikely of sounds,
with location recordings made on a DAT recorder that he takes with
him everywhere. Make no mistake, this is immensely clever stuff.
"Dust And Glass" is the second Farfield album, and an eerie and
moody collection of twilit soundscapes it certainly is. Its' strength
lies in its' sheer ingenuity and uniqueness, and in the wonderful
clarity of the component sounds which make up each piece. There's
a scattering of percussion here and there, but generally the compositions
consist of beautiful chords which float in and out, from wonderfully
simple piano and deeply atmospheric synthesiser sounds. The flow
and ebb of these compositions is very natural and organic. Of course
the ever-present samples and DAT recordings are an intrinsic part
of the music. Three of the tracks on this album feature recordings
made on Glastonbury Tor on millennium night. You will also hear
footsteps, gurgling water in Wellhouse Lane, the pages of a book
being turned, and of seven hot-air balloons flaring over Dr. Webbs'
head. The very uniqueness of the Farfield sound makes comparison
to other peoples' music very difficult. Think of Future Sound Of
Londons' "Lifeforms", or some of The Orbs' soundscape outings, but
there's a far greater breadth and width to the Farfield compositions,
and for this the talented Dr. Webb should be applauded. Having studied
acoustics he has a real understanding and mastery of sound, which
combined with his significant compositional expertise, has produced
one of the most original albums I have heard for some time. "Dust
And Glass" and also Farfields' debut album "The Edges Of Everything"
can be purchased from www.ambientmusic.co.uk
review published in 'Avalon' Magazine, Feb/March 2002
FARFIELD. The edges of everything. FARCD01.
Edges of Everything is a deep and dark soundscape from Farfield,
nee Nick Webb. He uses all manner of electronics to mold and manipulate
this set. The atmospheric ambience is dense. The eerie samples take
it over the edge. This disc is hard to describe and easy to like.
The synth riffs are catchy; the samples are interesting; the orchestral
passages are dreamy. But the emotional response is somewhere out
in left field. there is a response. It is just not overt. The darkness
is not scary. The orchestration is not pastoral. The soundscape
is not ambiguous. It is ambivalent. This is a masterful sound design.
Nick has created a soundscape that goes both ways. That is a rare
by Jim Brenholts, author of "Tracks Across the Universe: A Chronology
of Ambient and Electronic Music" January 2002.
Dust and Glass. FARCD03.
Webb records under the pseudonym Farfield. "Dust and Glass," his
second release, is a true minimalist gem! This is dark experimental
minimalism in the Hypnos vein. There are no subtleties here. It
is scary ambience, worthy of any Halloween sound design. Nick gathered
some strange and exotic - even erotic - samples from around the
U.K. (He even has a recording of seven hot air balloon burners.
Wow!) The samples form the base of the soundscape. Nick layers his
synths and drones on top of the samples. He also layers the samples
on top of the synths and drones. The wall of sound is constantly
building itself and collapsing into itself. It is reminiscent of
a Frippertronics loop. But this is an original artistic triumph!
There are similarities to many, derivatives of none. The experimental
and manipulated sounds top the project. Nick has not had much, if
any, exposure in the U.S.A. This CD promises to change that.
by Jim Brenholts, author of "Tracks Across the Universe: A Chronology
of Ambient and Electronic Music" November 2001
Dust And Glass. FARCD03
The second album by Nick on his own label and it continues the themes
set by his previous release in that the ambient music has a very
personal nature to it. The opening track Sun Across My Eyes is a
little similar to the early work by Scanner in which conversations
are included on a sparse soundscape with the rhythmic appearance
of a little known piano chord. It's all very eerie as the mood changes
to one of isolationism in which great sadness is inflected, until
a light beat is introduced and the mood changes once again. The
next track consists of a beautiful ambient score and angelic voices
all placed near a distorted crackling fire with static. It could
sound horrendous, but it is just another glorious illustration of
his talent. The fifth track features the sounds of the forest and
realistic dog barks that are utterly convincing before the purposeful
and relatively sparse double bass add weight to the proceedings.
The feeling is one of being detached yet strangely held within his
musical grip. The inventiveness of Balloon Phase is pure genius.
The watery sounds combined with pleasant crowd noise imparts a gentleness
on Wheelhouse Lane which is one of the three of the tracks that
are associated with Glastonbury at the beginning of this millennium.
The rather short finale leaves the listener wanting more. I hope
this CD is not overlooked, as the music is both fascinating and
by 'Modern Dance' magazine, May 2001
Webb, who records as FARFIELD, has released his second album, Dust
and Glass which both continues on from and expands the themes and
musical motifs of his debut album, 'The edges of everything'. This
CD proves beyond a doubt that Webb stands near or at the top of
the current heap of artists who delve into the less-traveled waters
of collage collage, found sounds, and musique concrete."
more I listened to this album, the more I was lured into what seemed
to be its web of sinister deceit and vague foreboding. The first
song, 'Sun Across My Eyes' brings the voyeuristic element to center
stage as we eavesdrop on what sounds like a rather, shall we say,
suggestive-sounding phone call between two women (who I think are
Norwegian or Swedish). The same lines are looped over a number of
times against a backdrop of vague rumblings, strangely tuned piano,
and an irregular heartbeat-like pulsing. This is heady stuff and
it wasnıt until at least the fifth playing that I 'warmed' to it,
if that can be said of a recording that frequently elicits the feeling
that one is hiding in a closet somewhere. Later on, the music on
this cut combines snare/high-hat beats with those plunky piano notes
and this whooshing sound that, in some ways, reminds me of a spirit
passing right through me. Creepy? Oh yeah! But positively fascinating
after a while; almost addictive, in fact."
musical side of the album is unique and even startling enough that
only with foreground listening can one appreciate what went into
the making of this CD. On the title cut, for instance, the 'booming'
and echoes in the background are counterpointed against what could
be the sound of some wild beast grinding its prey's bones to dust.
Disturbing? Yeah, you might say that. But also captivating in a
strange way as well."
one cut on Dust and Glass could stand as a fine piece of ambient
noir (emphasis on the noir) and some cuts (such as the all too brief
closer, 'Miles Away') are literally beautiful in a dark and shadowy
the end, what the album reminded me of was an art gallery exhibit
I saw several years ago. The exhibit was a recreation of a section
of an old hotel, consisting of a dark hallway and about eight doors.
As one approached each door (triggering a microswitch in the floor)
one could hear noises and/or conversations from within the rooms
- a radio broadcast, two people talking, someone moving around the
room. The exhibit was dimly lit and even the air was purposely stale
and 'old' The overall effect was eerie but incredibly compelling.
It was hard to leave. In some ways, Dust and Glass is like that
exhibit. Itıs a bold and daring attempt by an artist who truly walks
to the beat of a different drummer."
from Wind and Wire review, May 2001
"DUST AND GLASS" FARFIELD. FARCD03
As the sun begins to emerge after a usual 6 month winter, how about
a relaxing dreamy, ambient soundtrack to sit and sunbathe to? Or
perhaps the early hours of the morning would be better, who knows?
This is music to chill, relax, meditate and levitate in the lotus
position above your hemp yoga mat to. It is put together with a
great deal of assured musicality. With Resonance and Dust and Glass,
musical layers are added using electronic and natural sounds. Beats
are sparse and delicate, while strings, phasing sweeps and chamber-echoed
samples underpin the tunes cerebral soothing mood. Originator,
Nick Webb has used music sound-scape recordings made around the
UK. Flood water and distant cries, recorded during the Millennium
celebrations on and around Glastonbury Tor, can be heard in Ascent
and Wellhouse Lane. The muted cries and bongo playing have a slightly
eerie yet uplifting feel to them. In Balloon Phase he samples the
sound of 7 hot air balloon burners that are mutated to great effect.
Leap is my favourite. Luscious strings and gentle base move over
what initially sounds like static. Or is it tree branches swaying
in the wind, their sound waves being tampered with? The sound of
wind pushing against a window? I dont really want to know. This
is music to be enjoyed and marvelled over for its ambiguities and
not broken down into its constituent parts. So sit back - no lie
back - close your eyes and relax to Farfield.
from Student-world magazine,
EDGES OF EVERYTHING - FARFIELD (AKA MUSIC PRODUCER AND WRITER NICK
WEBB - FARCD01)
ambiences reflected in nine tracks on a beautifully blissed out
chill-scape are the simple description of this album. Before we
progress any further, let me say that this is not one of those long,
meandering sets that refuses to develop. I was soon drawn into these
mesmerising instrumentals and found myself paying much more attention
than normal for this type of music. It's not all electronic based
as instruments such as piano is used on the title track. The opening
piece 'Exploding Snowdunes' sets the tone with its gentle oscillations
that ebb and flow between the speakers, or headphones if you prefer
more personal listening. On 'Last Calls', a sampled double bass
is sparsely used to provide a more haunting effect. The finale,
'RealTime (and Counting)' is a lush orchestrated piece that contains
plenty of musical depth. There is so much more to be found here
than one of those relaxation tapes as the direction has greater
purpose and that's only one of the reasons why I shall revisit this
Dance magazine, published in December 2000
alluring sounds are emanating from the U.K.... from Glastonbury
to be more precise... from farfield's Nick Webb to actually pinpoint
the source of these lovely sonic enigmas. Simultaneously relax and
explore 'the edges of everything', a sublime merger of airy abstraction
and hushed tonality. Great stuff! Light tones and softly gritty
textures drift through 'exploding snowdunes' which seem to be a
hive of continual organic activity. Faintly rippling beatpatterns
are adrift on a smoothly morphing plane of synth haze, twinkling
notes and general hushed atmospherics, all of which is beautifully
'reflected in your LEFT eye'. More intriguingly slurred soundscapes
emerge'from the depths' (1:45); slow beats and ephemeral swirls
receive just a bit of human prescence before fading away. A whispered
question ("are YOU there?") repeatedly slips between piano and bass
meanderings which are surrounded by a chilly spacefloe. Quiet locational
sounds add an unidentifiable but immediate sense of place to 'stealing
Fire' (7:34); faraway tones hover and spacious piano notes resonate
more closely as deep symphonics seep downward. Sweet synthstrings
spread through 'realTime (and counting.....)', performing slow-motion
aerial acrobatics before fading out. 43 minutes passes all too quickly
when surrounded by farfield's entrancing blend of musicality and
ambiance. Gorgeously understated instrumental presences are merged
with the subdued textures and half-heard entities which float in
from 'the edges of everything'. A rightfully earned 9-2 of appreciation
for opening my ears to some new ambient variations from a previously
magazine. September 2000.
is the first ambient album I've heard in a long time that seems
to return to something of the simplicity of Brian Eno's Another
Green World and Discrete Music. It is a CD to put on in the early
hours of the morning when the world is quiet and still; its quality
of gentle insistence invariably gets you focusing inside the texture
to tease out the progress of a particular sound or instrument."
sampled instruments and synthetic sounds the sonic preoccupations
are disembodied voices from shortwave radio and the kind of noises
and atmospherics of the natural world that play serious games with
conventional perceptions of the aural landscape, much in the same
way that Trevor Wishart achieves brilliantly in the Vox series.
In this category the outstanding tracks are 'walking through...'
and particularly 'stealing fire'. The latter places the listener
in a virtual forest of wind and the creaking of trees. Beside these
excellent and beautiful sounds sythesiser textures burb and bleep,
a solo piano utters a plaintive refrain and dark toned strings (on
a visit from Goreki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs*) wander into
disturbing, annoyingly memorable!"
from a review by Nigel Morgan, in Diffusion magazine, March 2000.
I received my CDs on Monday and thought you might like some feedback.
Well, congratulations for everything! The top-quality website (found
by a search in Ask Jeeves for "ambient"), the prompt delivery, the
sensibly priced material and, oh yeah, the excellent ambient music.
I'm still listening to Dust and Glass and the Cyscape CD but I am
from Paul Kelly, UK customer, July 2001
provides rapid personal service on top of exhibiting exceptional
talent and the ability to take away the world's cares through his
music. The subtleties of each tune provide an endless source of
inspiration. Hopefully he'll have more of his music available shortly,
I can't wait!"
Comment from Dr Chris Lindsell, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (September