Rayleigh Scattering

by The Fractal Skulls

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Taking its title from the electromagnetic process which essentially explains why the sky is blue, Rayleigh Scattering effortlessly achieves the combination of abstraction and beauty that the reference implies. After opening with the murky crackle of 'The Fog', the album steps up a gear with 'Echo Returns', where unruly chords plucked from the strings of a wrecked piano intertwine in call and response with spiralling synth pulses. The addictive organ riff of long-time favourite 'Foreign Bed' feels like some kind of ecstatic perpetual motion mechanism - Philip Glass trapped on an Escher staircase - while 'Rhodes Left' strikes a slightly more (kraut)rock note, with its metronomic percussion underpinning a classic motorik rhythm.

Side two reaches some kind of peak with 'The Transitional Phase', whose ebbing and flowing patterns of phased electronics are backed by an imperceptibly swelling bass drone - one for the headphone freaks. A late highlight is provided by 'Good Girl', which started out as a remix of a track by psyche-folk fellow travellers Wildeflower, but took on a life of its own after being warped through the Fractals' sonic prism. Here Chris alchemises the barest trace elements from the original tune - a snatched sequence of piano notes, a fragmentary acoustic guitar chord and the briefest sigh of vocal - into an almost weightless otherworldly idyll. From here the album closes with the slow motion narcotic drift of 'Medication', ambient music at its most beautifully unsettling.

Rayleigh Scattering was composed over a two year period during which Chris travelled widely, and the album is steeped in the atmospheres of locations as far afield as Croatia, Paris, and New York City, as well as the bucolic surrounds of the English countryside in which much of the work was laid down. Found sounds from these travels have been seamlessly incorporated, and the overall feel of the album is intentionally one of a travelogue or a journal of momentary impressions, reinforced by the cover art's in-the-instant snatch of life in transit.

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credits

released August 10, 2012

Recorded at The Bungalow and Hill Valley Studios, Buckinghamshire, UK, between July 2011 and March 2012.
Mixed at Wall of Waves, London May 2012
Mastered at StarDelta Audio
Found sounds captured in Sibenik (Croatia), New York City (US), Buckinghamshire (UK)

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The Fractal Skulls Buckinghamshire, UK

Using the basic building blocks of analogue generated loops and minimalist drone, The Fractal Skulls weave subtly evolving patterns of hypnotic sound to produce kosmische music that transcends the sum of its deceptively simple parts. Key to The Fractal Skulls’ music is the use of repetition to create an immersive and all encompassing sonic environment. ... more

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