Receiving a package from Rural Colours is always a treat, and this time was no exception. Whether it’s in a cotton pouch (like this one) or a wafer thin slip of tissue paper (like the last), everything they have sent to me has been so beautifully though-out and lovingly crafted that it’s hard to dislike anything they release. Their roster is an impressive one too, with big names like Jasper TX, Celer, offthesky and Talvihorros all having put music out on the label. This is the first Inventors of Aircraft release on Rural Colours and it’s a breeze.
Themed around memories of places, The West Country (the area of the UK in which TIOA’s Phil Tomsett spent his childhood) was recorded over a period of two weeks at the end of summer 2010. The music for the most part is made up of gently lulling loops that layer and build upwards until they become fully-realised gusts of chilly ambience. The first two tracks brought to mind a sort of William Basinski in reverse, with ‘Calling Out My Goodnights’ in particular managing to clamber out of the initial clicks and crackles of degradation in order to develop into a series of stirring peaks and troughs.
There’s nothing to suggest the music here reflects any bad memories – the sense one gets is one of being alone in an open space with ones own thoughts and imagination. There are dark edges to ‘Flatland and Wires’, which is underpinned by a particularly deep drone, but it produces a feeling of awe as opposed to a sense of threat. The stuttering, direction-less ‘Matter and Vacuum’ is both the longest and most claustrophobic piece of music on the EP and may harbour a disturbance or two in its sudden cracks and breaks, but this is followed by ‘Black Mountain Choir’, which throws things wide open again quite majestically and summons images of dark clouds drifting quickly across twilit skies, much like those in the polaroid that accompanies the CD. The voices are stretched out to drone proportions to bolster the sense of freedom and provides a general feeling of optimism and progression on which to end the EP; the blowing away, perhaps, of a few dusty cobwebs from the annals of Tomsett’s mind.