DL/ CDR/ Cassette
Charlie Ulyatt describes his album Dead Birds as ‘perhaps, the culmination of many years spent living in the wild and sparse flatlands of Lincolnshire. The bleak endless landscapes taking form in the sound of sustained minimal electric guitar.’ Fighting Boredom have been listening to it, have a read what we think below.
Charlie Ulyatt’s Dead Birds is a record of quiet, precise patterns woven carefully and slowly together played just on a guitar. It uses continued repetition of quiet, precise patterns. It’s a crystal clear, beautiful album that confused me as I you played it because anything I’ve ever heard remotely like this has been done with acoustic instruments not electric.
Charlie says that this music is the culmination of the years spent living in the wild and sparse flat lands of Lincolnshire. A landscape that has settled into the music and given it a natural wild feel. The song titles tell the story and the sound adds to them. The music has a sadness that echoes through the quietness. For example, ‘Breathing Space’ is measured; each sound comes after the other has faded away like footsteps across snow as the drifts wipe away what has come before. The feeling is of something in transit, moving, not staying the same.
The exception to the calm, controlled music is the burst of noise that is Dead Birds; from a blast of an ebow and words from a Greek poet about the flight of Icarus. It’s a jarring move as the album moves forward.
Towards the end of the album there is a more distorted guitar sound but the notes still circle around and build small delicate patterns inside your head.
Overall the pictures that are conjured up in my head are of rainfall on a sunny day, green rolling countryside intersected with hedgerow and interactions either between the elements or creatures.
It’s a fascinating glimpse into what one man gets from his environment and how that environment can translate into sound. Quite wonderful, understated and beautiful.
You can buy Dead Birds from Charlie’s bandcamp page.
All words by Adrian Bloxham.