Tuesday, 29 May 2012

New album OUT TODAY on 12k : Below Sea Level ~

May 29th 2012~

I am very proud to announce that my new album project Below Sea Level is released worldwide today on respected and influential US label 12k. The CD is accompanied by an 80 page journal featuring Fenland field recording notes, charcoal and ink illustrations, an essay that reveals the contextual background of the project and my 35 mm photography all captured during the two years the project was created.
www.12k.com: "The Below Sea Level project was born from Simon Scott’s desire to musically explore the desolate and controversial environment of the Fens in East Anglia, UK. The memories Scott has of visiting this area as a child makes this a poignant and highly personal project that explores nostalgic familiarity with a desire to capture the musicality of the landscape. For two years Scott ventured into this former wetland with hydrophones and self-built recording devices to explore the land that is cartographically below mean sea level, trace the devastating history of this environment caused by the drainage of the land, and arrange it into conceptual musical and visual project. Below Sea Level explores the aesthetics of active listening and digitally disects the natural and man-made recordings Scott discovered within the Fens. He creates epic interwoven soundscapes that blend the recognizable (eg.: birdsong) with undistinguishable sounds, sometimes confusing what is natural and synthetic. Scott presents an abstraction of a place that is arranged and manipulated for aural contemplation outside of the Fens (in alien environments) where the music collaborates with each unique listening environment. Below Sea Level is released on CD and as a download but also comes as a deluxe version which is based around a hard-bound, full-color, 80-page journal. This journal features an essay Scott wrote titled "An Exploration of the Subterranean Fenland Environment" and also contains field notes, sketches, and photographs that he created while working on the project. Each copy of the journal comes with a unique, original, inked sketch signed by SImon Scott as well as a download of the entire album and an additional 30-minute live recording of some of the Below Sea Level material from a concert in Manchester, UK. A bundled version of the journal and CD is also available".
Reviews have been humbling and positive:
Fluid Radio- "Rather magnificent... but is so much more than the evocative collection of environmental field recordings, luminous drones and ephemeral guitars found on this record."

Ears Lend- "Simon Scott's Below Sea Level package for 12k is one of the year's key releases - not just a stand-out album of glowingly warm, densely textured excursions into landscape & memory, but also a hugely impressive 80-page book of thoughts & photography that bid to shore up an increasingly fragile environment, if only by expressionist preservation".
Vital Weekly- "Great spacious music, with an excellent sense of field recordings. Classic 12K release, to which I should probably remark that given 12K more recent releases towards pop oriented material, this is perhaps a bit of an odd ball or a bit retro for 12K. Even when I like this, it sounds like some of the older releases on 12K".

The Milk Factory- "a particularly beautiful package in which Simon Scott not only showcases his music, but also an area of natural beauty which was the backdrop to his childhood". 4.7/5 

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