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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

James Shearman - Artefacts [Ominous Recordings - 2017]

Artefacts features two slices of dense-yet-interestingly & moodily layered examples of wall craft from James Shearman; one of the more active & prolific artists in the UK wall scene. This release comes in the form of a C30 tape, which appears on Stockholm based Ominous Recordings.

The release appeared in an edition of twenty copies- with the plain white cassette coming in a single sided brown glossy sleeve. This takes blocks of murky textures and minimal black texts. And as of this review, the label still has copies for sale.

Moving onto the Sonics with-in, and first, up on side A we have “Can you Embed Into A Wall”. And after a brief fading in/ build up of textures, we’re into the ‘wall’. To begin with, this is a murky, moody, yet full blend of chugging ‘n’ galloping lows & mids, with this distant swing ‘n’ billowing almost horn like drone in the background. As the track progresses I start to make out more hammering & pelting sub-tones ( both crisp & blunt) with in the tracks mass, and these are joined by more muffled-yet- lonesome horn sweeps in the sonic foreground. The whole ‘wall’ has quite a loose & battering organic feel about it as if it could be a collection of overlaid storm field recordings. Yet there is clearly both skill here in the original sounding textural blends, the tangible feeling of windswept bleakness, and Mr. Shearman’s subtle sub layer manipulation.

Flipping over the side B, and we have the track “An Emblem Of Memories Frozen In Time”. As before this track has a few seconds of fading-in/ build up of textures, then we’re into the ‘wall’. Once again there’s a feeling of dense-yet-bleak looseness to the ‘walls’ layer make up. To begin with, we get a mesh of low end & slightly crust bound cluttering ‘n’ buffeting noise matter, which is underfed by this ill-defined & almost harmonic bass drone pulls. As the track progresses we get more layers of pelting/ hammer textures, but these are underfed by an even more muffled & smeared sonic character.  At times it almost feels likes the whole thing could completely pare back to more spaced textural studies or ANW- but fairly soon the mass of the ‘wall’ builds back up again.

Both tracks here have a nicely distinct mood of murky-yet- barren-ness about them, and both nicely complement each other well too. Artefacts is another effective example of Mr. Shearman’s wall-craft, and if you're looking for dense-yet-creatively tooled wall matter this is most worthy of your time.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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