A stunning artist, both literary and aurally. These soundscapes scratch the flesh and let the warm blood cool under layers of time encased in a geology of nature moving, hidden, through thresholds clouded to the human eye. There are strong magics flowing through these rhythms like silver waters plunging towards the moon.
"Skelton’s unique, all-enveloping soundworld [is] a must-visit destination"
"Digging through strata of earth and vibration, an aural archaeology that could be termed land music"
The Wire Magazine
Seminal British experimental musician Richard Skelton joins Phantom Limb for the release of stunning new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, his first for the label, first on vinyl in over a decade, and a standout record in his own catalogue.
Over the past sixteen years, Richard Skelton has developed a signature sound, often comprised of strings, piano and other acoustic instrumentation. Since 2013 he has increasingly buried these organic sources in layers of detritus and static. The process, as he articulates it, is to use signal-degradation as a means of reflecting the processes of decay and transformation in the natural world. His music has been placed alongside giants of experimental music, such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Stars Of The Lid, William Basinski.
With new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, however, Skelton has abandoned acoustic instrumentation altogether to map out a new territory of buzzing sine tones and square waves, immersed in shimmering clouds of distortion and suspended over landscapes of thrumming bass. The result is a new and transcendental experience: while the key themes of Skelton’s music remain - stark and lonely geographies, ancient myths buried deep within the land, slow-moving glacial evolution - we are transported to a darker and more mechanical place. The intensity and sound design here are more akin to quasi-industrial, abandoned-factory sonics than to earthy, organic tones of earlier Richard Skelton albums. Abul Mogard and Alessandro Cortini could be considered peers now, just as much as Eno and Basinski had been before.
released September 25, 2020
All music by Richard Skelton
Mastered by Alyn Sclosa
supported by 94 fans who also own “These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound”
Richard created something very new here: this music is futuristic & synth-like, but has a warmth, movement & lightness that's still ethereal. I never would guess it was him, but quite like it: change & artist growth is a good thing! Those fans of his more typical earthly bowed scraping intensity, piano chord punctuations and songs of place, do not be afraid of the changed sound palette here. I like this visit to Vega and can't wait to hear more of this direction if he choses to take us there. Joe Borreson