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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

Andrew Liles - All Closed Doors [Nordugen Records - 2022]

First released in 2003 All Closed Doors is a prime example of psycho ambient scoring/ unbalancing audio tripping. It finds respected UK experimental sound maker Andrew Liles offering up a varied and unpredictable album, which utilizes both audio channel manipulation, uneasy sonic juxtaposition, and good old fashion unsettling mood setting. It’s an album that sits somewhere between the genres of experimental electronica, ill-at-ease ambience, and weird film scoring. Here from Nordugen Records is a most welcome CD reissue of album, which features the original twelve album tracks- recently remastered, plus a few bonus tracks.

Before we get into the sonic side of the album we must talk about the release's packaging, as it's rather distinctive. It’s a slimline card sleeve which is  DVD case sized- on the outside, we find pictures of battered and creepy mankins- inside the CD sits in the middle of one side of the gatefold, surrounded by the track listing- on the other is a rather chilling picture of Mr Liles standing by a piano which is lined with manikin heads, also in the picture are two rather creepy children in strange stilted poses…and I love the quote under the track listing ‘Beware Of Knocking On Door When You Have No Idea Who Will Answer’. As well as this CD version- there are also three different coloured vinyl pressings- green, red, and blue- each of these have an edition of 100 copies- though I’m guessing the CD is less Limited.
 
Runtime wise the tracks here hit between the one and eight-minute mark- with nothing ever really overstaying its welcome, or milking ideas for too long. We begin with “Stain” which finds a slowly growing selection of grey ghostly drones- these are suddenly shifting with stereo darting electro texturing judders ‘n’ spins. There is the eerier warbling vibe darts meets unease/ underwater harmonic shimmer ‘n’ ebb of “A Life More Ordinary”. We have the wonky electro tone jaunt,  garbled vocal sounds, and extreme sparse shifting beat scapes of “Come and See”. There’s the old vinyl record swirl ‘n’ bay, meets chilling robotic spoken word of “Doubt You Care”. With the original album material playing out with “All Closed Doors” which opens with a mix of suddenly shutting doors, eerie metallic scapings and greyly glowing drone work. Later on, we find weaving ‘n’ waving tone patterning, more sudden slamming door unease, amassed backwards vocals, and sour harmonic darts meeting clip-clopping electronica.
 
We get three bonus tracks here-“Deform”, “Stain(early mix)”, “Be What Never Was”. The first track is a sourly swirling and waving ambience tone blend. The second track features a more sinisterly pronounced purring synth tone than the album version. And the third track is all sinister reverb gong hits, weird stretched sing-song vocals, random/ slurred industrial hits, and sudden simmer ambient unease. So, these all work well with the rest of the album, nicely expanding the experience just a little
 
To put it simply All Closed Doors is a masterclass in darkly hued and sourly uneasy soundscaping. Liles mixers moodiness & the unnerving wonderfully throughout, with a good and shifting selection of different tones and textures utilized over the whole album's run. So, if you enjoy psycho ambient/ and or unsettling electronica this simply is a must!

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

Roger Batty
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