Reuben Ingall – Thread (Hellosquare)

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Canberra-based electronic producer / sound artist Reuben Ingall last graced us a couple of years back with his ‘Kill Climate Deniers’ collaborative album alongside writer / poet David Finnigan on Clan Analogue (although he also found time to release an extremely limited edition of 25 ‘cassettes’ containing lentils and download info titled ‘Fibre’ last year on Chemical Imbalance).

Two years on, this latest album from Ingall on Hellosquare ‘Thread’ presents eight new tracks that see him working primarily with digitally treated and reassembled guitar elements to create mesmerising layers of melodic textures. Opening track ‘Floriade’ certainly suits the kaleidoscopic spinning of its accompanying video (see below) as chiming guitar strokes get looped and reassembled into a tumbling wash of gently plucked notes, the subtly deployed delay treatments adding a dreamily soft-focus gauziness.

If the resultant effect is as lulling as it is dizzying, elsewhere ‘Hidden File(s)’ reaches further out into post-rock tinged ambience as burnished-sounding guitar chords stretch out against a backdrop of warm drones, the addition of what sounds like field recorded sounds adding a haunting undertone as they loom subliminally at the very edges of the headphone space.

The background field recorded sounds of Canberran birds on ‘Rosemary’ meanwhile had the rather amusing of sending my three cats nuts when they detected the local noises as birdcalls and what sounds like the distant sound of running water bleeds into runs of descending arpeggiated guitar notes, the occasional sound of a stray fly buzzing through the reverie.

Elsewhere, ‘Sunleaf’ offers what’s perhaps the most folk-tinged moment here as feathery guitar arrangements alternately speed up and then slow as they cycle against twinkling background ambience, the emergence of more distorted guitar tones signalling a move into moodier atmospheres as the layers of fretboard strokes gradually unfurl. Gorgeous, lulling stuff that still contains plenty of edges.

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A dastardly man with too much music and too little time on his hands