Monday, April 02, 2007

XELA: For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights (Type Recordings)

XELA
For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights
TYPE017
Type Recordings 2007
12 Tracks. 60mins45secs




Buy it: CD
Xela | Type Recordings

Four years after it was first released on the recently revived Neo Ouija, Xela’s debut album, For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights has been remastered and given a whole new set of attires thanks to graphic artist Matthew Woodson for its re-released, this time on Twells’s excellent Type Recordings imprint, only a few months after the third Xela album, The Dead Sea, was released.

Characterised by soft electronic sounds and gentle melodies clad with glitches and clicks, For Frosty Mornings was a rather confident debut for a musician who had only recently made the jump from indie guitar to computer-based music, and it has lost none of its substance and shine since. Recorded between 2000 and 2002, while he was sharing his time between a dead-end job in a car part shop and an art degree at university, the album is not quite as ambitious as it successor, yet it demonstrates a impressive level of maturity and control. Twells never sets to impress here, yet his delicate sound formations and evocative melodies, rooted somewhere between the minimalism of Mille Plateaux and the elaborate melancholy of Boards Of Canada, gather much evocative scope and create a soundtrack of understated beauty.

Right from the outset, with the stunning Age Of Monsters and Under The Glow Of Streetlights, Twells firmly establishes the tone of this album and never veers much from it afterwards. This two sister pieces are articulated around gentle melodies and complex rhythmic click clusters, yet they appear disarmingly simple and effective. Later, Impulsive Behaviour or the beautiful Last Breath, with its rich glow and guitar motifs, reveal a similar approach but applied to slightly more minimal and introvert soundscapes. Eselwhere, tracks such as Inbetween Two Rooms, An Abandoned Robot or Booble Hats In Summer showcase much more mournful and dark ambiences where melodies are swallowed by thick sound formations.

This new version also boasts two previously unreleased tracks, A Glance and Dance Macabre, which were recorded just after the regular album sessions and actually fit rather well here with there incredibly detailed rhythmic sections, delicate melodies and sweeping arrangements.

Although recorded over five years ago, For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights hasn’t lost any of its charms. More purely electronic than the recent Dead Sea, it however shows a high degree of human emotions and is as impressive today as it was when it was first released.

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