elixir - cd - 2017 (available)
america $13.00 USD
canada $15.00 USD
rest of the world $18.00 USD
music : keith berry, new recording from 2015
artwork : matthew swiezynski
press release :
our newest release is music by the british drone & ambient master keith berry who resides in l'angleterre.
the alchemist jim haynes said of his work: "like falling snow, his dreamy work drifts with a poetic chill and
tranquil hypnosis through which peripheral elements tease the listener with subtle details. it's so damn
a bit of background on this release: one of the great inspirations for invisible birds was bernhard günter and his
seminal label trente oiseaux. the releases had an enormous influence and one of the gems was keith berry's
. it was with much pleasure when mr. berry wrote asking invisible birds to release his newest work
elixir, and after listening to the wonderful kosmic washes of sound, there was no question than to proceed.
the CD features abstract drawings by matthew swiezynski, and graphics by the brooklyn-based design kollektive
mount analogue (chi yun and matthew swiezynski).
mr. berry said of the release: "the source material for the heavily granular processed sound that makes up
stems from another album of mine titled
to be released shortly by infraction. not so much a remix album
but a different take on material that had a strong pull on me, wanting me to return to it and explore the permutations
that digital editing software allows."
keith berry is one who gathers many moments of sound over a period of time. the material for this recording
on infraction records) traversed through berry's editing system like an alchemist's mystery-liquid,
distilling through his alembic and becoming a final sonic spirit that takes innumerable forms and can no longer
be recognized. this process is so beyond words and creates work that is further beyond words; the listener enters
a complete void.
santa sangre magazine
it is a rare occurrence to come across an album which pulls you out of your surroundings so completely; when i
received 'elixir' i could not make heads or tails of it, i'll admit. with several listenings under my belt i can now definitely
state that the record in question clearly is cut from a far stranger cloth than i could have imagined. 2017 bodes well
for experimentalism if this is the caliber of it already in march. oh woe to you who happily bob along on the surface
of popular culture, you've no idea how intense the currents are beneath your vacuous ego... all one must do is look
down. go within.
the music which this man composes is wrenched from every emotion a human being is capable of feeling.
this is my first meeting with keith berry and it won't be the last: his music hangs in the air never abating, refusing
to give up any sort of explanations. if you're afflicted by technology then this is the perfect curative; the text fragment
within parses out a few clues but obscures them by means of literary cunning, design motifs and illustrations which look
older than written words or recorded sound. further into the overwhelming, murky past that is the subconscious we are
pulled. the tracks keep playing, the thoughts continue wandering, the waking mind becomes more an abstract concept.
concrete reality disappears.
mutterings of swirling, endlessly decaying audio compliment and collaborate with one's memories in this place; it is
easy to sense the passage of time through these compositions and if you close your eyes while listening you'll feel it
moving through all the synapses, nerves, vessels and cells the body possesses. 'elixir' is not merely a salve for the soul it is
an immersive crescendo of unbound imagination breaking every which way. that he's managed to contain such a volatile
combination of hostile elements is impressive and it is truly moving to recognize how he did so: through the usage of beauty.
across the years. through the triumphs, losses, adulation and laments. slowly the songs dissolve much like dreaming itself.
i knew a moment ago where i'd been but now it is gone, no amount of concentration can bring it back. that landscape which
had been rendered in perfect detail is now nothing more than tatters of memory... to know and yet not know, this is the
effect berry's stylings have. taken into the furthest regions of existential space; casting out one's own inhibitions,
sacrificing all. the reward is to see revealed before you a realm of glittering possibilities which become tangible
only for the blink of an eye before vaporizing into the ether.
~ peter marks
after four years, we finally have a new keith berry album. i loved his last release, towards the blue peninsula, so i was
anticipating this one with high expectations. i must admit I was disappointed on first listen. on elixir, berry sticks to
the style of textured ambient drones that characterized the last album, but here the sounds are darker, deeper, and not as
immediately accessible. that's not a bad thing, it just takes more effort to appreciate.
the album spends a lot of time with gauzy, layered, syrupy textures. there is a melancholy feeling to many of the tracks but
it never feels cheap, saccharine, or maudlin. rather than have all the tracks blend into each other, berry has sequenced the
album so that each piece uses fading techniques and volume increases to signify the progression to the next track. although
this can be tricky to get right, i think he made it work here.
some of my favorite moments on the album are when berry does something unexpected. for example, just as i'm settled into this
being a dark album, track five, dufourea, hits me with some lighter, ethereal washes of warm ambience that represent a shift in
tone but fit perfectly into the flow of the album. likewise, the eleventh track, scopesis, weaves in a palette of various synth
melodies, glitches, and loops i'd call chaotic beauty.
elixir is an excellent album, but one that will probably appeal most to seasoned ambient and drone listeners that appreciate subtle,
well-crafted albums that fully reveal themselves over repeat listens. i found the album very rewarding and recommend it highly.
the more you listen to drones, the less they sound like drones. one person's gray wool flannel sweater of a sonic
experience becomes someone else's expansive orchestral grandeur. "elixir," heard here in an excerpt - though at
over four and a half minutes in length, it's more than enough to go by - is good training for those who hear gray
and want to get through the gray to the detail.
it's a thorough composite, a swollen, soupy mass of sound, but in it there is so much to pay attention to, glimmery
effects and arpeggiating fragments, all moving behind a veil drenched in white noise. the track is credited to keith
berry, who, as invisible birds notes, recorded for the excellent trente oiseaux label, run by bernhard gunter. "elixir"
is from a forthcoming album by that name, due out on invisible birds around march of this year.
track originally posted at soundcloud.com/invisible-birds. more from keith berry, who is based in the u.k., at
invisiblebirds.org and twoinchesoffground.com.
~ marc weidenbaum