Rough Fields’ third release for Bomb Shop is a micro-edition of five spellbinding lo-fi electronic folk songs. Following the ecstatic noise of ‘You As You’ (“Expansive, evocative and serenely interesting”, Chew The Fat) and the atmospheric pop of “Watery Fable” (Outstanding experimental, genre-bending music”, Blind Fun) this collection of new material is both accessible and out there, experimental and readily enjoyable.
‘The Harbour Wall’ continues the found-sound theme of its predecessors (through the cardboard box kick and drum is replaced on this occasion by a controlled two-litre pop bottle explosion), but layers the syncopated sound sources into a moody atmospheric grower. ‘Behave’ is a short but sweet multi-layered nylon string guitar study with obsessive-compulsive vocals. On the other side, the cinematic desert music of ‘Edge of the Firelight’ gives way to Rough Fields’ already much acclaimed flagship track ‘Manila’, released on physical and download formats for the first time here.
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‘The Harbour Wall’ is release on limited, hand-made cassette and digital, featuring artwork by photographer Sarah Faraday. Support so far from Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 1), Nick Luscombe (Late Junction, BBC Radio 3), Gideon Coe (BBC 6 Music), Radio Nova, Dom Servini and SOAS; coverage in Echoes, Proper Songs, Newdust, Blind Fun, DJ Mag, Foxy Digitalis, Visitation Rites, Meme and plenty more.
Rough Fields is the operating name of Mancunian composer/producer James Birchall. The project brings together the disparate strands of James’ previous musical paths through folk, classical, rock, minimalism, electronic, electro-acoustic and experimental composition. After three years spent absorbed in the techno scene in the UK, Birchall studied modern composition in Huddersfield under Matthew Adkin, Christopher Fox, Michael Clark and other influential figures – a period which also brought him into contact with such luminaries as Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich and Brian Eno.