ALBUM REVIEW: Lawrence English | The Peregrine

written by Chris Familton

Lawrence English’s music is never merely a collection of musical pieces or songs in the traditional sense. The sound artist sculpts his audio work based on concepts, themes and source material that while it is isn’t essential to be familiar with, greatly enhances the listening experience. The Peregrine is English’s homage to the writing of J.A. Baker and specifically his book of the same name that portrays the bird’s world in East Anglia from both macro and micro perspectives.

The predominant musical approach that English takes is one of layered, textured drones. There is little distinction or separation between the instruments creating the otherworldly sounds and though much of what we hear is alien and mysterious it works extremely well in creating a holistic world and the feeling of space and movement both in the air and closer to the ground. This is immersive music with little in the way of perceptible horizon or objects to grasp onto but you feel like you are being led through the record by an ethereal and endearing tour guide.

The Peregrine is limited to 1000 vinyl copies and over its two sides the music shifts through seven passages that range from the soaring organ of the opener The Hunting Life, through the dense coruscating sheets of choral drone of Frosty’s Bitter Grip to the ominous and meditative Heavy Breath of Silence and more. Within the confines of decaying sculpted sound English has created a work that succeeds in creating an evocative, emotional and resonant picture of an environment that he has only visited through the words of an author. That is testament to both English and Baker’s creative bravery and mastery of their art-forms.

this review was first published in The Drum Media

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