Spheruleus – ‘Trading Places’

The latest ambient offering from Lincolnshire-based Spheruleus (Harry Towell) comes in the form of a ‘tea-break’ listen – an ongoing output of net-label, Audio Gournmet, curated also by Towell. As mentioned in a recent review documenting Towell’s work in collaboration with Josco, I must return to the ability to conjure hazy memories and sensations of nostalgia that is presented so effectively by Spheruleus. The field recordings that encourage such reminiscence are hard to distinguish, allowing the listener to add their own sense of narrative and geographic setting, providing a steadily evolving foundation of non-musical sound underneath reworked guitar recordings. The second track on the EP, ‘Lemon Groves’, welcomes the guitar in its intended instrumental use, as gentle passages are looped and layered; strings are bent and the direction of the track appears to be without a definitive direction, perfectly suited by the underlying bubbling of aquatic field recordings. The EP is open, spacious, and gives way for the listener to explore its expansive grainy soudnscapes and instrumental developments. As I’m writing this review, I’m somewhere in the mid-lands countryside, although I find myself deeply immersed and reflecting, accompanied by this short release. I return to the notion that Towell is a conjurer of sorts, as my own memories of foreign surroundings and unfamiliar tones were encouraged by the environmental sounds to the point of vivid visualization. Overall, ‘Trading Places’ provides a level of depth and listening intrigue that is rarely found in such short releases. Maintaining the well-thought layering of textures and a raw, humanness of sound that has come to be associated with Spherelus, I find myself eager for more; maybe as a further extension of ‘Trading Places’, or as a response to its call.

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