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for barry ray - new days (cd)


ARTIST // for barry ray
LABEL // room40 (au)
CAT // rm423cd


For Barry Ray is the husband and wife duo of Carina Thorén (Sweden) and John Chantler (Australia). After a number of compilation appearances, long gone CDrs and lathe cut records under various guises, the pair bunked down over the winter of 06/07 to lay the foundations for ‘New Days’, kicking off things Christmas morning with the gift of a London turned silent and a sky free of planes. On ‘New Days’, the sound moves from the wash of organs and lofi analog detail that opens the record to ecstatic blasts of freeform percussion and electronics, some hypnotic distorted keyboards and looped flute tones. Dom Garwood (Alexander Tucker/Ladywoodsman et al) dropped by for a meal and laid down some clarinet parts. The records second half increases the sense of space. An old Swedish folk melody is buried beneath waves of fuzz while Loren Connors-esque guitar notes step gently in the wake. Two short interludes follow, the thrum and pause of ‘The Porcelain Horse’s analog tape manipulations and the heavily processed guitar loop of ‘If Mingus was your Mother’ - its intimately suggested backbeat gently peeled back by computer interventions… The record closes with a piece of extended quietitude – acoustic guitar and piano notes ring out against great chunks of silence. Carina Thorén has a background in, sculpture, design and performance art. She has also played in the groups Satellite Book (with Pascale Berthier) and Trigger Happy & Performing Apes (with Berlin-based artist Carolina Hellsgård) producing free form jams out in the Czech forest akin to No Neck Blues Band or Jackie-O Motherfucker. John Chantler released his first solo record ‘Monoke’ on ROOM40 back in 2003 whilst living on the rural Japanese island of Shikoku. He also showed up playing drums on Tujiko Noriko’s ‘Blurred in my Mirror’ (ROOM40, 2005), played a ripping set with fellow Australian music fiend Matt Nicholson (Function, Locust Music) in support of Fennesz at the ICA and has performed with avant-pop ensemble Maher Shalal Hash Baz (see ‘Live at Aoiheya’ Chapter, 2005) and co-produced the forthcoming record by fellow Maher travelers Tenniscoats.