After thrashy punk and wacky showmanship, let’s take a quiet moment now, shall we? From U.K. experimental label Alrealon Musique, here’s an upcoming release that offers something wonderfully organic, luxuriously rich, starkly elegant and quite stunning. At certain moments, it’s deliciously meditative; at other times, it’s startling and provocative. Rapoon is Robin Storey, who has been creating music for more than 30 years. He was a founding member of Zoviet France, to which he contributed music and art from 1980 to 1992. Since then, he’s been recording as Rapoon, with more than 50 albums released. Storey also contributes to film soundtracks, has had his music used in commercials and he’s also a painter and visual artist.

Cultural Forgeries (set for release September 16) is a series of musical contemplations, distinct portraits that are painted with various textures and tones, the musician as an artist with a colorful and nearly infinite palette. Each song is unique and beautifully recorded. This is enhanced rather than “produced” acoustic music. By this, I mean that there is a minimal amount of processing, and the treatments selected are in service to the natural beauty of the instruments.

From the artist: “In 2013 I was asked by my friend Robert Pepper (Pas Musique) if i wanted to do an “unplugged” album. I was intrigued by the idea and agreed. I thought of ways of constructing pieces that did not involve any “processing.” I wanted to make something that was essentially acoustic recordings but which were composed and arranged to give some depth and intricacy to them. I started recording some of my many acoustic instruments on a portable stereo digital recorder (A Tascam DR­05… for those interested in such things). The recorder has built in microphones, so I just used those. Sometimes I placed the recorder inside a large Bodhran to get natural reverb reflections. I listened back to the things I had carefully recorded. I listened to them again… they were ok, but something was missing. I added some reverb, delay, back masking and… it suddenly sounded fab to me. This album is part acoustic and part processed. All the recorded parts are live, one take. The treatments and processing are as much a part of composition as are the instruments and the recordings. In a way I failed to make an unplugged album but I did make something which was outside of my usual work process and for that I am thankful. To simply repeat the same processes over and over seems very dull to me. Viva la Difference!”

Acoustic Instruments used:

Trumpet, Pocket Trumpet, Bodhran, Banjo, Pungi,Shehnai, Indian flute, Chinese flute, Irish tin whistle, hand bells, cello, accordion, guitar (Hofner Congress 1958), one string slide guitar (nineboys wedge), Ukelele, Kan (Tai bamboo harmonica), mouth harps, percussion, voice.

1. donnez­-moi une cigarette
2. Bodhran and ran
3. Banjo Arabiata
4. Suit Toot Coconoot
5. I saw a man
6. Slender…in clouds
7. Some distance
8. The summer lies heavy

9. Along the calling path
10. Sway…down down
11. Bells temple ask
12. Glass
13. Cello transfused
14. Cello yellow
15. Je veux d’l’amour
16. The delta ends
17. murmur now…finis

Taken from the album ‘Vernal Crossing’ released on Staalplaat (1993).

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