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FARFIELD 'Sonic Entities'

The new solo album by Nick Webb.


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FARFIELD 'Sonic Entities'
8.95 GBP

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Reviews of this album

Description:

Nick Webb's first solo release since 2001's 'Dust and Glass'. Featuring 8 tracks, plus on the initial limited edition copies, an electronica remix of 'Spinning Away' by Dan McRae of 'Thin Films'. Features striking artwork by LabelSound graphic artist Stuart Tolley.

A slight departure from previous FARFIELD albums. 'Sonic Entities' packs in the same textures and atmospheres but with subtle layered beats, female vocal harmonies from singers Anna-Jane Vine and Tamsin Vine plus treated soundscapes sounds and echoed radio voices.

Tracklist

1. Spinning Away (10:05)

2. Non-Linear Days (8:14)
3. Sonic Entity (8:50)
4. Lure of Time (4:51)
5. Segue (1:27)
6. Space Opens Up (6:12)
7. Leviathan (4:49)
8. Sliding (2:47)

+ Bonus hidden track. Dan McRae of 'Thin Films' remix:

9. Spinning Away (Electronica version). (10:00)

CD disc print.


MP3 samples and track descriptions:

Track 1 'Spinning Away'

Intro
"This track emerges from a long haunting soundscape of train doors slamming on Victoria station (used with kind permission of the LMC), with a triple layer of organic bass sounds and strings building to a complex beat and percussion effects"

Hi-Fi MP3 version (128 kbps - 2.9 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 version (56 kbps - 1.3 Meg)

Ending
"Layered female vocals see the track wind down to another ambient soundscape which seques into the next track 'Non-Linear Days'

Hi-Fi MP3 version (128 kbps - 4.1 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 version (56 kbps - 1.8 Meg)

Track 2 'Non-Linear Days'
"This track layers sparse echoed beats with distortion tinged bell sounds and later, sweet layers of strings and quiet disembodied, vocoded speech sounds.

Hi-Fi MP3 (128 kbps - 3.0 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 (56 kbps - 1.3 Meg)

Track 3 'Sonic Entity'
Intro
"Layers of female vocal sounds, put through several effects, blend with ambient textures and 2 layers of bell sounds. A unique sound which is best listened to rather than described!"

Hi-Fi MP3 (128 kbps - 3.8 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 (56 kbps - 1.6 Meg)

Track 4 'Lure of Time'
Short sample
"More textured beats, ambience and piano!"

Hi-Fi MP3 (128 kbps - 1.7 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 (56 kbps - 0.7 Meg)

Track 6 'Space opens up'
"Just pure string sounds layered and layered to produce a rich harmonic effect"

Hi-Fi MP3 (2 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 (0.9 Meg)

Track 8 'Sliding'
"
A return to the classic FARFIELD sound and a foretaste of the 5th album 'City Works: Ambient miniatures".

Hi-Fi MP3 (128 kbps - 2.6 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 (56 kbps - 1.1 Meg)

Track 9. Bonus track by Dan McRae
Beginning
"A more upbeat electronica version of 'Spinning Away'

Hi-Fi MP3 (128 kbps -3.5 Meg)
Lo-Fi MP3 (56 kbps - 1.5 Meg)

Format: best quality CD-R, full colour, glossy 4 page booklet, barcoded and shrink-wrapped! Colour disc print, hi audio spec. CD-R dye with 100 year shelf-life. Guaranteed to play in older CD players - if not send it back for a refund. Simple as that!

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REVIEWS

FARFIELD
Sonic Entities
Farfield Records (2004)


This is the latest album by Nick Webb (the man behind the name Farfield and its label). I've not heard Farfield's other albums and so cannot comment on any changes in style, but apparently Sonic Entities represents a slight departure from previous albums - so I guess fans of Farfield don't need to worry about this being a radical change of tack. After several listens I can say that it's classy laid back chillout/ambient music with a rather distinctive sonic style, though the mid-tempo rhythmic pieces or the more drifting ambient pieces provide familiar structures.

The first thing that struck me about Sonic Entities is how it's got plenty going on to keep one's attention but is also restful - a balance I found particularly satisfying. Nick has woven together a coherent listening experience across eight discrete tracks that make use of synths, piano, drum beats, percussion, female vocal harmonies, and treated sound samples. Atmospheric is an overused word, yet I can think of none better to describe this work which often engendered a curious sense of expectation without really knowing what the expectation was.

Getting the album underway is "Spinning Away" which gives a good introduction to the musical territory being explored. Sound samples taken at a railway station comprise the first minute or so before slowly giving way to hi-hat percussion, easygoing drum beats, and layers of synth washes. Some of the synth tones reminded me a little of some elements on Gary Numan's The Pleasure Principle, though I'm not sure if that's coincidence or if Numan was a musical influence on Nick. It's on this track that we first hear the gorgeous and wordless female harmony vocals by Anna-Jane Vine and Tamsin Vine; these vocals have been expertly used to be an integral part of the music rather than as just another texture.

Railway station sound samples crop up in few of the tracks, I think they made listening to the album feel like being on a train journey where one's mind sinks into a comfortable reverie as the scenery changes. So the atmosphere is very much down to earth, apart from "Space Opens Up" where expansive synth washes brush across the soundscape in a cosmic spacemusic manner.

Sonic Entities is a great all rounder of an album, it works well as pleasing background when doing other things or better still as music to chillout with or listen to carefully - it's not demanding without being boring. Definitely one for any ambient/EM fan's collection.

By Dene Debbington, Wind and Wire.



















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