Celer – Breeze of Roses (Dragon’s Eye Recordings)

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The blurb to Breeze of Roses by husband and wife duo Celer (Will Thomas Long and Dani Baquet-Long) paints a romantic and alluring picture of the album’s genesis, born from a long weekend spent on the banks of Lake Attersea in Austria, late 2005. ‘During a break in a rainstorm, a one-hour recording was made in the belly of a docked sailboat, consisting of mini-piano, whistles, and a cello’. A parallel field recording was also produced, capturing the sound of water beating against the hull, and the surrounding winds. The recordings languished until 2007 when Celer resurrected them and, informed by fond memories, reprocessed them into Breeze of Roses.

Sadly, none of the above descriptors is evident upon listening, such that I was concerned I’d put the wrong disc in the player. Breeze of Roses is one long, hazy drone, a windswept, near-static low-end hum akin to Thomas Koner feeling cosy, or Windy and Carl feeling glum. Over the course of 47 minutes it undergoes subtle shifts in tone and colour, with ocassional faint tinkerings cutting through the fog, so faint they’re more inferred. The single track is loosely divided into six ‘imprecise’ parts, given further abstract, evocative titles (‘The Archaelogical Aspects of Grief’), yet the start and end points of these are impossible to determine. What happened? Where are the instruments, the mini-piano, whistles, even the water? All I hear is wind, a possible cello, and a whole lot of processing. It’s far from unpleasant, particularly those moments where change and activity can be detected, and best played at high volume, but also far from what the notes indicate, and ultimately a genuine disappointment given the rich potentialities offered by the source material.

Joshua Meggitt

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