Auditory Canvas - Fabric Of Life Album Review
Non-swimming ex-Manchester University student with a passion for Blueberry pancakes but a dislike of the colour purple (not the film) releases his debut album, 'Fabric Of Life'. Auditory Canvas, a.k.a. David Leeson (No relation to Nick that we know of), a.k.a. David Holmes (No not the Ashley Beedle/Sarah Cracknell collaborator, or Daniel Radcliffe stunt double) has previously released a hand full of EP's and remixes, Imogen Heap among them, but this is his first full length offering. Released under his own label, Summer Rain Recordings, Fabric Of Life is the culmination of a determination and desire to fulfil his own musical exploration and make 'his' music. Rather than produce, remix or DJ others musical creations David has meticulously crafted a piece of work that is truly his own.
'I didn't want to just throw 10 songs together and call it an album, I wanted to make it a cohesive auditory journey.'
Fabric Of Life certainly has a cohesion. The cinematic soundscapes, epic panoramas and majestic audio horizons are conjured up beautifully. The texture and treatment to each piece has angular and harmonious presence in equal degrees. The sometimes off beat and awkward instrumentation only heightens the intensity of the music for the listener. Although most tracks have a certain soundtrack feel to them they are easily justifiable on their own merit. David's previous work as score writer on theatre productions has only served to hone his skill at creating atmosphere through a musical manifestation.
The first three quarters of the album are instrumental in nature with rare, and rarefied, vocals on occasion. The cited references for Auditory Canvas are in evidence throughout. Aphex Twin, Si 'Bonobo' Green, Leftfield and Kruder & Dorfmiester play a part in helping to create the sweeping movements that play strings against drum and bass beats or, electronically enhanced machine crafted tunes. 'Dust Chant' carries with it a Faithless meets Baaba Maal air that is fantastically chilled and meditative. There are elements of Robert Fripp and David Sylvian, 'Lost And Found', as well as more dance oriented influences such as The Future Sound Of London, 'Jade', or Orbital on 'Mystery Trip'.
So then to the remaining three tracks. 'Lest We Make It A Mistake' is a JFK speech from 1961 set against a bass heavy beat replete with strings and synth notes. It works through the unadulterated nature with which the speech has been used. Somewhere between a Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip social commentary and the slightly more humorous spoken word 'classic',' Wear Sunscreen'. The same technique is used just as effectively on the albums closer 'Get Green Soothe' where a Severn Cullis-Suzuki (Canadian environmental activist) speech is set to a musical score. Sandwiched nicely between the two is 'Chrysalis' a fidgeting and frustrated multi-textured disturbance that wants to be chilled out but can't quite reach a calm at the end of a hectic day. If you've tried desperately to get to sleep but are prevented from doing so by life's tiresome torments then this is the perfect auditory accompaniment.
Fabric Of Life is a contemplative piece of music full of reflection and introspection. The somewhat introverted compositions induce a dream like state where your imagination is prompted into tranquillity by the audio back drop. Sit back relax and enjoy.