George Royle returns under his Bodies Under The Waterfall alias with his first solo release. Since making his debut on Forwind’s Angry Ambient Artists Vol.2 split he has sharpened his tools and come up with a set of full blooded headphone fillers with the now constant presence of the personal and political in sharp focus.
The daily bludgeon of some of the worst human attributes is alluded to in the opening track ‘Degrade’. It sets the scene for what’s instore with a grainy piece of dark drone that touches on the kind of isolationism being practiced and felt at so many levels on planet earth 2018. ‘Echo Chamber’ follows with an obvious nod to the conversational cul de sacs that have become par for the course in the most acute way in recent times. But that’s not the sole purpose here. There’s uplift and relief too, a sense that a corner could be turned.
The A-side of the record ends with the fierce ‘Witness Through Liquid Crystal’ . It’s an aggressive piece of droning noise that explores its ambiguous subject matter in electrifying bursts. There are multiple readings to be made into this; chemical, biological or technological. Outside of the lab and onto the streets, peaks, needs, viewers and screens are all painted black in this darkly energetic piece.
The B-side opens up with ‘Hull’ an eerie and ominous mover that kicks up a mass of distorted dirt and debris in case you were starting to get a little too settled. It’s disconcerting and the feeling of being stranded with your vision impeded is visceral. Probably not going to be used by the Hull tourist board so. ‘Lambeth’ is possibly the punchiest track on the release. It‘s an effective interlude that packs some heft with some stabbing melodicism that sounds like sheer effort. It’s hard to not interpret it as a nod to the kind of peace and resolution brought about by being close to punched out.
The closer ‘Vs. Mental health’ brings together many of the elements heard in the previous pieces and while it doesn’t attempt to bring about any obvious resolution there is undoubtedly some hope in the dark ethereal wall of sound, as it is worn away by the dust and grit that subsumes it as the track reaches its conclusion.
FWD22 will be available on limited edition vinyl. Digital also available.
released October 26, 2018
Written & Produced by George Royle
Mastered by Conor Curran
Artwork by Martina O'Shea
Design by Hannes Jentsch