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Marsfield - Three Sunsets Over Marsfield

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Artist: Marsfield

Album: Three Sunsets Over Marsfield

Label: Faraway Press

Review date: Mar. 11, 2011

It’s understandable that Three Sunsets Over Marsfield — recorded over ten years ago – is just now seeing the light of day. In the early 2000’s, Brendan Walls was a staple in the primal noise ensemble Menstruation Sisters and Andrew Chalk devoted his attention to what would later become the epitomical drone project Mirror. This particular recording from the duo is now presented as an exquisite LP, adorned with an embossed silver-lined jacket and Japanese obi, consistent with Chalk’s carefully crafted Faraway Press catalog.

Anyone familiar with Chalk’s backlog will know that he has an affinity for the drone, often shaping guitar and piano tones into elongated ambient compositions. He’s definitely a pioneer in the genre, and Three Sunsets acts as a belated precursor to the albums that earned him this illustrious status: Shadows From the Album Skies and The River that Flows into the Sands II. He and Walls present two similar side-long pieces, both featuring layers of mid-range tonalities that feel more ephemeral as they grow denser, as if the music could evaporate at any moment.

In the past, Chalk’s music has effectively been a test of one’s patience, mainly because of how easily his work can slip into the background. Active listens, however, can reveal underlying textures and brilliant moments of happenstance. Side B, in particular, exposes these moments in the form of sunken melodies that spawn variations with each additional spin.

Walls included a story alongside the press release that tells a tale of a certain Mr. Wilson — a once resident of the city of Marsfield – who possessed the ability to receive radio frequencies through a metal plate in his head. Why Walls would include this tall tale remains a mystery, though one may speculate that it exists merely as a made-up point of inspiration, a conduit for channeling the ghostly music that Marsfield create.

By Adrian Dziewanski

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