Cotton Wolf, the atmospheric musical union of Welsh 'Super Producer' Llion Robertson and classically-trained composer Seb Goldfinch, release their second, digital-only EP after their first offering swept into Europe at the tail end of 2013.
Endeavouring to close the divide between human sound-making and electronic synthesis, Cotton Wolf delivers four more, potent examples of their meticulously crafted sounds on the new Cloud City EP. Available from Monday 14th April 2014 on Strangetown Records, the digital-only offering follows the success of their 2013 debut, Catapelt.
Students of Jon Hopkins and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, electronic alchemists Llion Robertson and Seb Goldfinch have come out of the blocks quickly to build on a growing, international reputation achieved in just the few short months. Since emerging last December, the pair have found their track, Cassette 98 appear on the influential, Berlin-based Iriedaily mix-tape (alongside Boards of Canada, Mogwai and Modeselektor) and have also provided sounds for BBC documentary, The Girl with Two Hearts, by BAFTA-winning filmmaker, Mei Williams.
As acclaimed arrangers and producers, Cotton Wolf is the sum of two formidable parts. Nominated for a series of Welsh Music Awards, Llion's production skills have helped folk artist The Gentle Good on his way to critical success, whilst touring with the likes of Coldplay as a percussionist for fellow electro-storyteller, Eugene Francis Jnr. Meanwhile, Surrey-born composer and arranger, Seb met his musical match while preparing to play violin with Llion's former band and, realising their shared curiosity for electronic sounds, Cotton Wolf was born.
A forensic exploration of the limits of their studio craft and meticulous writing have come together on Cloud City to maintain the pair's innate sense of warm, musical intimacy cut with distinct, other-worldly sounds.
Their tightly organised arrangements are no more evident that on the title track, opening Cloud City with a gentle guitar intro before diving deep into an abyss of darkly epic quality. The mood pervades from start to finish, with a grandiose yet melancholic synth melody, shattered glimpses of a hauntingly beautiful female vocal, before coming to a peak of psychedelic squall. Singapura borrows directly from recent experience of a Singaporean excursion, cutting the ambient sounds of traditional Eastern hemisphere street-life with those of modern Singapore. The pair's subtle take on glitch-production becomes evident, yet isn't allowed to overshadow the prime importance of the music.
The track Far Away takes the same dreamy backing vocal from Cloud City (and later track, Mir) and puts it at the forefront as lead instrument. All the while, Cotton Wolf's core sound of electronic white noise, sweet melody and harsh percussive beats remains solidly in place. The EP closes with Mir, a heady voyage into outer-space, the music transporting the listener beyond the clouds into the brilliance of the universe, mixing the delicacy of atmospheric synths with eerie, sirenic vocals. The effect is to take the listener along with Cotton Wolf as their minds drift out into the stars.
Completing the quest for aural perfection, the Cloud City EP has been mastered by Streaky at Metropolis Mastering, who has worked with artists and producers such as Pendulum, Groove Armada and Mark 'Spike' Stent.
Title: Cloud City
Release Date: Monday 14th April 2014
Label: Strangetown Records
Format: Digital Only
Cloud City EP Track Listing:
1. Cloud City
3. Far Away
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.