The Japanese ボケ味 (‘boke-aji’) relates to a ‘blur quality’, and has in time come to be known as a photographic technique by which ‘out-of-focus’ points of light are processed by certain lenses. You can get ‘good’ or ‘bad’ bokeh which often refers to the level of distraction in the image, with the good of course, enhancing the image somehow in its own mysterious way.
'Il calore emozionale delle partiture ambientali di Wil Bolton (Cheju, The Ashes Of Piemonte, Anzio Green,Ashlar Le Moors) trova nella sua prima opera solista da due anni a questa parte densa profondità prospettica, veicolata da frequenze modulate, field recordings e variopinte screziature elettro-acustiche.
Nei sei brani di “Bokeh”, l’artista inglese filtra il proprio romanticismo attraverso copiose trame di riverberi e screziature droniche persistenti e talora dotate di consistenza granulosa e a tratti persino distorta.
Ciononostante, le ricche texture di Bolton risultano sempre dotate di una preziosa fragilità, espressa attraverso esili filigrane armoniche, costellate da micro-suoni e loop avvolgenti.’
Lovely little post about Wil Bolton written by Stationary Travels! :)
'Fresh from the sonically fecund fields of Home Normal, Wil Bolton’s Bokeh is his latest album of gently pulsing, tricked & tweaked, soothing analog/digital haze. Throughout Bokeh I hear harmonium, crystal bowls, knocks, streetscapes, glass clinks, odd analog key snatches and elsewhere heard, vague recollections of sound. From early in Wils recorded career he has used various bell like tones and chimes, to colour his compositions. In this I’m not talking healing room fairy floss, in Wils rendering, often these tones are sensitively edited and manipulated ( hear Tremadog ), playing with our notions of the previously heard, teasing and tantalising our aural library. Moonlight (For Sophie) also plays with a similar sound palette, though perhaps more lullaby like (and a smile from yours truly upon reading this interview), and the chimes are more pronounced, pure - like starlight.
Wil always excells at warm drone too and throughout Bokeh, its tonic is ever present. 1887 is one such piece, it opens as a wet streetside location recording and then evolves into a shifting soundworld of stretched, percussive, lulling pulses. Amidst this haze, location sounds subtly enter the foreground, wheeling gulls, wet road traffic, non-specific surfaces and flitting machinations, a door? Pentaprism too explores the drone with an oddly celestial (the keys) come earthbound (a pedestrian underpass?) contradiction of sounds seguing into a keyed assertion to close - a true sound memory.
As always, the title is no random choice. Bokeh comes from the Japanese word for a blur quality or haze and in photography, can refer to the contrasting out of focus material beyond the foreground. You know those lovely nightime photos of out of focus lights through a rain soaked windscreen - bokeh. And so, musical Bokeh, offering both a current statement and perhaps an intention from earlier days - its seems to offer a perceptual renewal of all that has passed and is present with Wils art.
For this release, in keeping with the refined artistry of the music, Home Normal have released the physical edition in a card insert placed inside a 7” washi cover with an accompanying vintage photograph and slide.’
Wil “with one L” Bolton has done another album of his gorgeous blurry ambience this week, housed in a delicate 8”x7” sleeve that you will really struggle to file with your other records and still keep in uncompromised condition. He’s reminded me of Windy and Carl before and he’s immediately doing it again on the opening title track, an ethereal smudge of subtle arrhythmic chimes and gliding, unsourceable drones which gets a little glitchy and digitally corrupted towards the end.
We get various subtle variations on this theme of blurred, smoky drones and dinky chiming details over a further five tracks. ‘Tremadog’ throws in some crunchy static…or is it cars driving through puddles? ‘1887’ has a feverish kind of buzzing thing going on and some new-trainers-on-lino squeaks, ‘Sash’ has pre-concert babblings and weird chopped up orchestra-tuning samples stretched all backwards and inside out, in ‘Pentaprism’ children caw like crows over a rich, droning chord that has a kind of accordion/harmonium wheezy quality to it. I’m not going to give away what happens in closer ‘Moonlight (For Sophie)’. That one can be a surprise.
If you’re into the droney times of the likes of Windy and Carl, Celer or Hakobune and haven’t yet investigated Bolton’s meticulously crafted and brittly detailed sound sculptures, here’s a perfect opportunity. You might want to pick up his 'Under A Name That Hides Her' LP for a bargain £3.49 while we’ve still got cheap copies, too!
Headphone Commute have put up a mix of older Home Normal releases on their Mixcloud. It is a beautiful mix, and completely free to stream! It is currently number one on the experimental music charts, and number seven on the ambient charts so let’s try to get this to number one :)
Headphone Commute have long been superb supporters of all the work we have done, so it is a great honour that they took the time to do this :)
homen054 Islands Of Light 'Ruebke' (album sampler)
homen054 Islands Of Light 'Ruebke' (album sampler)
We finally have the release of the wonderful Wil Bolton album ‘Bokeh’ due this Friday. You can now stream the entire album on our Bandcamp page, as well as order the digital and physical editions of the album through various stores (see the bottom of the release page for more information). We also have a little microsite with more information as well. Between his recent visit to Tokyo and back to London, Wil very kindly took time out to talk to us about ‘Bokeh’ among other things. You can read the interview here. Thanks so much. More to follow this week :)
Here’s a video by Wil for the title track from the album.