James Rushford tops over a decade of solo and collaboratibve work with Oren Ambarchi, Crys Cole, Will Guthrie, Graham Lambkin and Klaus Lang on this fathoms-deep, psychedelic treat, a next-level arrangement of microtonal drone, decaying concréte fuzz and windswept, somber melancholia recorded for the Shelter Press label.
James Rushford impressed earlier this year with his excellent Black Truffle collab with Will Guthrie "Real Real World", and he here heads further into the nether-realm on 'Lakes From The Louvers’, an album that draws its inspiration from the interplay of shadow and light he observed on the surface of the lake and through his window while at an artist residency at La Becque on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Rushford's detailed sound particles and concrète world-building echo the tantalising shimmer of light on water, with amplified movements, synthesized squawks, pings and harp notes rippling across the length of each track. It’s music that accurately represents the landscape but is far from ambient - instead Rushford sculpts soundscapes that demand patient, attentive listening.
The slow-moving, deliberate processes that Rushford has been honing over the last 15 years betray a sensitive ear, swerving pretentious, exclusionary art for arts sake nonsense. This is electro-acoustic experimentation with a beating heart, designed to trigger thought and self reflection. Just clap yr ears around 'Hyaline Apples' as it melts buzzing clouds of synth into jagged harp plucks and woodblock percussion, or standout track 'The Bise' and its disquieting haze of microtonal bliss. When the album comes to a satisfying close on 'Dents Du Midi', it feels like the finale of a muticolored odyssey, as tangled synth notes fold in on themselves like an MC Escher painting. Futuristic and ancient, 'Lakes From The Louvers' is a breathtaking album that unspools with the patience it no doubt took to create.