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CHALK, ANDREW - The Circle of Days

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Faraway Press FP 023
Release Year: 2014
Note: older CHALK recordings feat. DAISUKE SUZUKI performed on / created with field recordings, keyboards, guitar, bass & slide-guitar => everyday environmentals (like in ORA with DARREN TATE) merge with subtle instrumental drones and sound drops, filed under: impressionist ambience... "A magical, captivating piece of work that functions like a sonic parallel to the way shooting stars grip our gaze in wonder" [Infinite Limits]; ed. of 325 copies
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"Truly beautiful new LP, "The Circle Of Days", from UK sound/drone artist Andrew Chalk on his own Faraway Press imprint. Recorded in 2003-06 and created with field recordings, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, and slide-guitar, "The Circle Of Days" includes a return for Chalk to his long-term collaboration with Daisuke Suzuki (Ghosts On Water, Lost Shadow, Siren Records et al), who features on five of the LP's 14 (relatively short) pieces. The field recordings, mostly captured from everyday home/community life, blend with beautiful fragments of minimalist keyboard runs and droning string tones that reach out, rise-up, and resonate to stunning effect, conveying celestial-like imagery of, say, light from another world shimmering in the dark of our own fog-blurred night. The sounds unfold, subliminally freezing/interrupting time, before fading into voids that sometimes leave a peculiar and wondrous sense of longing. Whilst the field recordings feel grounded in the real world, the instruments' rich sounds seem like they arrived from the ether of far-away, deep inside Chalk's expansive artistic vision. A magical, captivating piece of work that functions like a sonic parallel to the way shooting stars grip our gaze in wonder. Released on Chalk's Faraway Press imprint in an edition of 325 copies. Pressed on super-sounding black vinyl, mastered by Denis Blackham and housed in a sleeve featuring a reproduction of a pencil sketch by the artist himself, with layout design by Jos Moers." [Infinite Limits]


"Andrew Chalk records are the jewels of the English underground. The noise of Ferial Confine gasped with an existential blurt of obstinate tactility, violent in their self-immolation but never directing a rage outward. The gaze was inward. Then, when the drone grounded much of Chalk's classic works in the '90s and '00s, these slippery, elegiac croons of sonic impressionism dripped with an opalescent beauty that also spent a fair amount of time splashing around in the mud. More recently, Chalk has been exploring the poetic fragment, cracking the lens of British avant-folk eccentricity and scattering the results on stunningly beautiful albums like The Circle Of Days. The curious introductory track here sports a clattering of wood, recorded in situ with longtime collaborator Daisuke Suzuki, with a church nearby, whose bells chime the solemn Westminster Quarter melody. The following track pools rounded tones from Chalk's open-body electric guitar, finding a counterpart in the stoner-folk of Tom Carter's early work in the Charalambides. Piano, chord organ, and more guitar flesh out further tracks of nocturnally impressionist details that hang like constellations in the night sky, curving steadfast against the traffic of satellites, planes, and planets. The course of the second side reprises that of the first, with equally wandering expositions of intimate ambient swath, gossamer half-melody, and the soft-spoken mystical charm that has graced many an Andrew Chalk record! Very highly recommended as with everything that Chalk touches." [Aquarius Records]

"Or, where quality meets content. The name Andrew Chalk, and indeed Faraway Press and La Scie Dore, will be familiar to any attentive Vital Weekly reader. Chalk has been releasing music since the mid 80s and has worked with people like David Jackman, Darren Tate and Jonathan Coleclough. His best know collaboration is perhaps that with Christoph Heemann under the name Mirror, creating a series of albums that belong both musically as visually to the, in my humble opinion of course, to the best that the ambient/soundscape genre has to offer. His new solo album The Circle Of Days has been made available in two editions: 325 copies in regular sleeve and 100 in a beautiful handmade portfolio sleeve, which, if you enjoy that sort of thing, is well worth hunting down. Working again with Daisuke Suzuki, headman of Siren records, Chalk has created what can only be described as yet another gorgeous and very fulfilling album. Even though the cover features several song titles on the back, the album itself is banded as one track per side, giving the impression of two suites, which is something I really like. Plus the record features a label that is slightly smaller in size than regular LP labels, which gives the album the look of an ancient 78 rpm record, which, again, I like very much. Full points for style and design therefore. The precise contribution of Suzuki is not always clear: even though some tracks mark his name, the almost hesitant playing of instruments like guitar, keyboards, piano (in gorgeous stereo), vibes could be either of the two. There are environmental sounds added to the slow tempo music; birds, children playing, the sound of a swing, it all adds to a beautiful musical painting of endless summer days. Nothing new, nothing shocking, simply an emotionally moving musical miniature." [FK/Vital Weekly]