Fescal – Alchemical Wanderings (Wounded Wolf Press)


Released in 2012, Alchemical Wanderings was British-born, South Korean resident David Suyeong´s first full-length, physical album, an eleven-part dromedary ride through a painted desert, a desert painted by Marc Chagall, the unceasing vinyl rustle a beaded curtain through which the music constantly passes. Its perfectly paced, muted consonance makes for one of the more mesmerizing ambient albums in recent years, calling to mind the heat of Robert Rich, the bell-ringing cold of Biosphere, the cerebral patience of Brian Eno, the heart of Oöphoi. Late in the record, a lengthy, stretched version of ´Silent Night´ (and deep behind it, ´The First Noël´) manifests itself like night-blooming jasmine. Sweet but not frivolous – Fescal´s elongated rendition is freighted with emotion and serves to create a space of familiarity in the foreign, bemusing landscape – a place in which you can see a version of yourself for a moment.

Wounded Wolf Press, a Turkish house that creates impeccably detailed books and records, has released this version of Alchemical Wandering as a double CD, featuring the original album plus a set of complementary remixes, both discs tucked snugly into a small, stiff manila sleeve upon which is affixed a medallion of refracting green, yellow and salmon shards by Romanian artist Georgiana Teseleanu. An additional handful of remixes (by among others Rapoon and Lost Trail) have been stored online and can be accessed via the enclosed download code.

´Alchemical Wanderings Afresh´ plays like the result of an unwitting game of exquisite corpse, a story written one line at a time by authors who haven´t been allowed to read what has been written before. A multifaceted but flowing narrative in which contributors including Keith Berry, Aidan Baker and Dirk Serries shape the air around the music more than the music itself, playing its currents like a violin.

What should long ago have been recognized as a precious ambient classic has grown even more prepossessing.



About Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Stephen Fruitman has been living in northern Sweden lo these past thirty years. Writing and lecturing about art and culture as an historian of ideas since the early nineties, his articles have appeared in an number of international publications. He is also a contributing editor at Igloo Magazine.

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