David Newlyn – Collected Fictions

Despite the title of ‘Introduction (Broken Cassette Mix)’, I was nowhere near ready for the jarring beginning of David Newlyn’s latest album, ‘Collected Fictions’. This is the first release of Newlyn’s that I’ve covered, despite being a fan since 2012’s ‘O.S.’ (2012, Sound In Silence) alongside Yellow6 all those years ago. It’s also the first time I’ve noticed Newlyn is from Durham, which means I’d spent many of hours listening to an artist on my doorstep without even knowing. ‘Collected Fictions’ is a pleasant lend of woozy electronica and loose-fitting down-tempo. Take the album’s second track, ‘Ghost-Out’, for instance: it’s steady but relaxed beat work reaching out to root foundations, the ever-changing pad of degraded field recordings providing the glue between the gaps, and the stunted keys that give the track a sense of syncopated movement.

Following with ‘Hymn To Bleachgreen’, the listener is plunged into the minimal progressions of a hazy drone, seemingly unremembered with to boast the sonic imperfections of a performance caught and unharmed. By the end of the albums fourth track, ‘Travelling For A Living’, it becomes apparent that four very different approaches to music making have been experienced. Beginning with an aurally damaged introduction, through down-tempo, then conventional drone, and past the intricacies of IDM; it is clear that Newlyn is enjoying the exploration of different musical territories without alienating listeners through a consistent expression of emotion throughout the album. Maybe it’s the optimism that comes with the better weather outside, the touch of nostalgia that comes from writing on an artist that has been part of my music collection for years, or it could simply be the uplifting tones within ‘Close Again’; ‘Collected Fictions’ has played through quicker than expected as I anticipate a replay. Similar to how it started, the alum finishes with a short, raw capture of an impromptu piano performance just managing to cut through the background noise of a public place-turned unconventional performance setting.

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David Newlyn’s ‘Collected Fictions’ is out now on Sound In Silence Records, available in a limited edition run of 200 CDrs with a polaroid cover and hand stamping.

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