Tone Color – Everything You Know Is Wrong

At Irregular Crates we tend to get digital promos sent to us mainly although sometimes we get the odd CD or tape posted, or maybe we’ll write about our own physical purchases. A first for me one Friday a few weeks back was when Andy Lomas (ToneColor) offered to post his latest album out now on Assembly Field; I happened to be killing time whilst away with work and decided to meet him for a drink, so he could hand it to me in person!

Andy kindly showed me round some Manchester pubs as we chatted music over some ale and since being back home, the album is on my iPod and the CD now a favourite in the car. I’ve been familiar with the Tone Color soundsince releasing Today Will Not Be Like Tomorrow on Audio Gourmet and this immersive album experience shows quite a progression since this short netlabel EP.

Andy tells me that he tends to work slowly, labouring over the detail and listening to this record you can see where this time is spent, as the level of detail unfolds over glistening drones. We both discussed (from what I can remember!) our travels in Italy and in this record, field recordings captured there are a feature in places. ‘Via Lucherini‘ is one such example, which opens the album with a dreamy synth drone, before an interlude of motorised vehicle(s) breaks things up shortly, which serves to really strengthen the feelings of bliss which will unfold once the drone returns. There is great variation through this piece, which whilst sounding different, reminds me of Janek Schaefer’s approach to ‘Lay-by Lullaby’ on 12k. ‘The Last Day‘ follows, a further example of breathtakingly beautiful drone, flitting in for just a couple of minutes.
City Of Three Rivers‘ follows, with searing majestic synths and some guitar lines which remind me a little of something Jazzdefector might create. ‘GRM Bloom‘ follows, a little muddier with some warm and fuzzy hiss and field recordings, with yet more folds of plush drone over a generous 8 minutes. ‘Yatha Bhuta‘ is next, still fuzzy but with less hiss, as warm and lightly woozy keys serve as an interlude over 43 seconds.
MAX~‘ is next, with enveloping synths and reversing notes seem to arpeggiate under a bed of reverb, recalling early Matthias Grassow. At track 7, we’re just over mid way through, and another interlude named ‘Forward Then Back‘ introduces the next half of the album perfectly with a musical section of chimes which comes to an abrupt end. ‘Maria Casarès‘ follows, another warm and hazy short drone, which I’d willingly allow to extend for many minutes and hours beyond the 2 minutes Andy had afforded to this one. Beautiful.
A Thousand Summers‘ is a track which lives up to its name and possibly my favourite piece – a looping guitar riff with drones and field recordings will put you into a moment you won’t want to come out of.
Oltrarno‘ introduces light piano notes in a moving piece, punctuated by the faintest light noise underneath the tranquillity. ‘Voight-Kampff’ is the penultimate track, a seemingly modern orchestral movement, perhaps reminiscent of something Sven Laux might create. Then the record closes aptly, with ‘Neither An End Nor A Beginning‘ – a piece that will prompt you to come back to this album again from the start. Swirling loops of synthesised string drones glisten again and again to end one excellently produced album.

The CDs have pretty much all sold out – just 5 left at the time of writing. You won’t be disappointed if you add this to your collection – you can do so, or at least listen in full for yourself by clicking above or HERE