Richard Skelton | Another Hand
British sound artist Richard Skelton offers a couple new digital EPs at the top of 2019 via Scottish imprint Aeolian. He discusses the new work: “Music to accompany the book ‘Dark Hollow Dark‘. The title is an allusion to a footnoted gloss on the original Cotton Nero manuscript of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Skelton swoops in on us with a provocative and textural work running for twenty-four minutes and soothing the most savage of men. Layers of pulsing ambient drones levitate and rotate so gently.
‘Nothing is impermeable. There are fractures,
planes of weakness, wounds. There can be no
resistance. The current is too strong. In the end,
everything yields, surrenders, washes away.’
It’s intriguing to imagine this being associated with a literary work, because it’s truly the type of out-of-body styled sound scape that defies words. And while it is rare to find me gobsmacked, I’ll do my best while blissing completely out. Rich and deep.
While this can easily be read (so to speak) for the weightless ambient washes of sleep induction that it is, there is a visceral side, or channel, that courses right through it. It’s an illuminated industrialism so finely woven into the undertones you may not notice until this is deeply in the slipstream of your psyche. Yes, this body-based music, tingling on both the top and bottom ends that meet somewhere between the cosmic and the cerebral. I’d imagine this would be a viable construct in performance, preferably in the round, with endless surround sound. An effecting listen, that slowly dispatches the ear towards an undisclosed location emulating a vortex or a black hole in space.