Richard A. Ingram "Consolamentum"
Manchester’s Richard A. Ingram, guitarist in Oceansize, comes out of nowhere with his debut album of atmospheric tape hiss, drones and minimal melodies. While Ingram is hardly the first to employ tape recorders, electric and acoustic guitars, piano and analogue electronics to create haunting acoustic doom, “Consolamentum” ranks among the finest albums of its kind I’ve heard in quite a while. It is ambitious (what with it being a concept album about Cathar history and the tracks ranging from three to more than 13 minutes in length), it is self-assured (listen to the the first appearance of the signature piano motif in the stunning “De Montfort”), and it is self-reflexive of its means, engaging the listener in a discourse about how it was made when all machinery is getting switched off and some 90 seconds of hiss provide the closure to the album).
It would be good to see a vinyl release of “Consolamentum”. I don’t know if that’s in the works, but there’s a Richard A. Ingram piece on the “Keys” piano compilation on American Typewriter, which I’ll be checking out asap.
9/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (30 June, 2010)