?Shed?, the debut album of England?s Need More Sources, is a good companion piece to Elegi?s ?Sistereis? album reviewed elsewhere on Foxy Digitalis these days. Both operate in the mystifying territory between modern classical composition and acoustic doom, an area that has recently been populated by the likes of Deaf Center, Svarte Greiner, Xela, Helios, and Tim Hecker.
It?s difficult to find out anything about Chris Stewart, the man who is Need More Sources. Which is good as now it is all about the music and the sparse information given on the beautiful cd that imitates a cloth-bound book, somewhat worn and coated with patina. With song titles like ?Breeze?, ?Storm?, ?Snow?, ?Rain? or ?Spring?, ?Shed? is an album about the elements and their different manifestations: the seasons and their weather. Cinematically eloquent as the ten pieces are, the titles are all one-word-affairs as they stand for a shed in different situations. ?Sheds?, then, is an observation of a building changing under natural conditions. Hence the patina.
?Shed? is a richly-textured recording that uses classical instruments ? most notably piano and a string quartet - but adds electronics to create atmospheres which are predominantly gentle. The soothing piano of the opener ?Morning? provides the perfect introduction to the rather stiff ?Breeze? which comes up next, complete with nervously dancing wind chimes, a forlorn but still melodic piano and the somehow nightmarish, creaking sounds of a taut rope being worked around a hand pulley block. Elsewhere, a thumping double bass provides the destructive drive of a ?Storm? that has piano and chimes whirling about like leaves.
It is this onomatopoeietic quality that the album shares with Svarte Greiner?s and Elegi?s recent work but ?Shed? is less narrative or audio play and more beautiful chamber music. In tracks like ?Autumn? or ?Valley?, a gleeful guitar and some unexpected drumming take over to create that kind of pristine beauty that has secured Helios? ?Eingya? (with tracks like ?Bless This Morning Year? or ?Paper Tiger?) a place so close to my heart. Stewart won?t get that far, as his album lacks the urgency and the innovative power of these pioneering albums, but everybody with an interest in any of the aforementioned artists should keep a close eye on Need More Sources. 7/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (17 July, 2007)