Lawrence English

A Colour for Autumn

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Gorgeous. This is by far Lawrence English's most gorgeous album to date, and the man has released his share of beauties. A Colour for Autumn is presented as the second installment in a series of reflections on seasonal transit initiated with For Varying Degrees of Winter. As on that album, the music consists of delicate changes and minute gradations leading from one atmosphere of crystalline tones to another. Unlike that album, though, the overall vibe of A Colour for Autumn is warm, embracing, caressing. English's music is usually a subdued form of ambient electronica wrapped around a conceptual core, and that is the case once again, although he truly surpassed himself here in lulling and transporting the listener. Kiri no Oto (Touch, 2008) had noise-like moments of grittiness, and It's Up to Us To Live (Sirr, 2009) was disquieting at times and somewhat bleak, but here, it's as if English had deliberately wanted to transport the listener on the smoothest possible ride -- without falling into the new age trap -- minus a little bump or two to keep things from getting too comfortable (like the shift four minutes into "Stillness in Motion"). Dean Roberts lends aerial vocalizes to "Droplet" (the longest track at a few seconds under seven minutes). Also, Christian Fennesz plays electronics on "The Surface of Everything," his contribution being both identifiable and seamlessly integrated to the sound palette of the album. A Colour for Autumn is not a thought-provoking CD, especially if you are used to the experimental ambient genre, but it's marvelously elegant, without a single second wasted. A highlight in the discography of this Australian sound artist, and a sure-fire year-end list pick.

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