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Sil Muir: Sil Muir

Artist: Sil Muir
Title: Sil Muir
Label: Diophantine Discs [n=22]
Format: CD in custom printed cardboard wallet
: 4
Playing time: 60:01
File under: Drone / Ambient
Release date: July 2009

Track list:

01.  The Winter That Dried You Out  10:17
02.  The Spring That Never Comes  12:48
03.  Light at 4:48  13:05
04.  We Don't Need Time, We're Already In Eternity  23:43

Press release:

Italy's Sil Muir presents to us here their first full-length work. It is a beautiful, yet melancholy, hour-long recording carrying us along that sleepless journey from dusk 'til dawn. Powerful and gentle drones shudder and shimmer through these four dense and amazing tracks. Sil Muir is the collaboration between Andrea Marutti (Amon, Never Known, Afe Records) and Andrea "Ics" Ferraris (Ur, Airchamber3, Ulna). Their only previous appearances are a lengthy compilation track on Transf.Order and a collaboration with Horchata on Taâlem.

Housed in a custom printed color wallet. Edition of 500 copies.

"There has been only one previous track by Sil Muir, the collaborative effort between Andrea Marutti (otherwise known as Amon and Never Known, also responsible for running Afe Records) and Andrea 'Ics' Ferraris (also known as Ur, Airchamber3 and Ulna) on a compilation CD which didn't make much sense to me (see Vital Weekly 672), but it was a nice long ambient piece of synthesized guitar sounds. Here they arrive with their first CD. It lists Ferraris for 'all guitars' and Marutti for "all treatments". Perhaps that's already an indication where to look for the music: the darker corners of ambient music, what was once called Isolationist music. Vidna Obmana meets Thomas Köner, I'd say. Mirror meets Monos, perhaps. That sort of thing. Long stretched out dark clouds, shimmering in the almost dark night. Nightfall music. 'We Don't Need Time, We're Already In Eternity', the closing piece takes a while to get going, but once started it hoovers along the dark walls of almost inaudible sound. One might argue there is not much 'new' going on here, and that is true. Sil Muir don't change the course of musical history, but instead they further deepen the sound carves already there in this dark ambient field, and as such they do a truly great job. A mighty fine disc of dark drones, ambient and a totally isolated feel."
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, August 2009

"Sil Muir is a contemporary minimalism droning project involving Andrea Ferraris and Andrea Marutti. The subterranean, circular abstracted dronescapes are covered by fragile-ephemeral and melancholic echoing guitar sounds. The first piece is an ecstatic journey of sounds based on Marutti's slow moving drone rituals and covered by introspective, delicate guitar echoing notes from Andrea Ferraris. "The Spring That Never Comes" is an outer space, meditative piece growing into real isolation and bleak atmospheres. "Light at 4:48" is another spacious, intimate and sacred drone-like electronic theme. It starts with a glacial, arctic soundscape in the distance that becomes magnified by a cascade of serene, warm guitar chords. Completely beautiful and plastically vibrant. An holy nocturnal ceremony. It sometimes reminds me Peter Wright's droning "abyssal" guitars but less massive and less heavy with much more emphasis on intimate and mytho-poetical themes. "We Don't Need Time, We're Already in Eternity" is a twenty minute subliminal droning electronic sphere that slowly and delicately emerges from a blackened abstract world. I'm impatient to discover more sound materials from this fantastic new duo. A pinnacle of "dronemusik"."
Philippe Blache, ProgArchives, August 2009

"Un'ora di musica; quattro tracce realizzate a partire da un'unica ed "essenziale" sorgente sonora, la chitarra di Andrea Ferraris, successivamente trattata e rielaborata, in modo anche sostanziale ma senza "stravolgimenti", senza snaturarne completamente il suono primitivo e "l'anima", da Andrea Marutti. Il suono è, sempre "morbido", etereo, dilatato, fondamentalmente oscuro, "drone oriented" e dalle atmosfere "ambient"... Anche laddove, a seguito dei trattamenti e delle stratificazioni, sembra perdersi quasi completamente la riconoscibilità della sorgente sonora origianaria, ciò che rimane è pur sempre una tessitura sonora ricca di vibrazioni armoniche "vive" e "toccanti", concrete e "reali", che non cedono il passo ad una sorta di sinteticità predominante e "fagocitante", che pure avrebbe potuto prendere il sopravvento se in fase di elaborazione del materiale sonoro ci si fosse lasciati prendere la mano dall'applicazione di filtri ed effetti "metamorfosanti" troppo "spinti" e di dubbio gusto ed efficacia. Di particolare fascino le parti in cui, come sottili raggi di luce, le parti di chitarra emergono dall'oscurità ed esprimono fragili e malinconici accenni di sequenze melodiche, perfettamente "frenate" e misurate, e pur sempre perfettamente "inglobate" e amalgamate, a livello di timbrica e sonorità, agli elementi sottostanti e di contorno. Come in "Light at 4:48", forse la traccia più suggestiva in assoluto, che nel contesto del CD segna il confine estremo tra il buio impenetrabile della notte che l'ha preceduta, e i primi confusi, impercettibili bagliori di luce del giorno che seguirà."
Giuseppe Verticchio, Oltre il suono, September 2009

I've been the lucky recipient of several Diophantine releases over the last few months and on the whole they have been a sublime assortment of music and Sil Muir is definitely no exception. The four constituent pieces are a beautifully constructed fever-dream of sound that somehow manage to become the entirety of your consciousness for their duration. My one complaint (and it's a teeny weeny complaint) is that there are four separate tracks which meant that as each track reached it's conclusion the 'real-world' dragged me unwillingly back for the few seconds it took to once more immerse myself in Sil Muir soundpool. A single longform piece would have saved me from the horrors (ok, a slight exaggeration) of mundane reality. Seriously though, this is a sublime set of ambient drone pieces from a label who is fast becoming one of the best places to source music of this form.
Ian Holloway, Wonderful Wooden Reasons, October 2009

Sil Muir is the brand-new ambient constellation consisting of guitarist Andrea Ferraris and veteran sound manipulator Andrea Marutti. Together they have conjured four grand, huge blocks of dark grey slate, while working away at them exposing every fissure and delving deep into each crack, perhaps best exemplified in the dominating track, aptly named "We Don't Need Time, We're Already in Eternity". Comparisons with the patient craft of Thomas Köner are not amiss. On "Light at 4:48", a flash of nostalgia occurs as the guitar rises up and briefly bays at the moon, calling to mind the guitar-and-treatment experiment "(No Pussyfooting)" by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. Into desolation is injected an almost pastoral sense of nighttime. In anticipation of the official release of the CD in its handsome cardboard packaging, Horchata (Michael Palace) was given access to the tapes and provided a remix taster on a three-inch Taalem CD-R. "Ahnedonia" (sic) sounds like a distant orchestra tuning up as quietly as it can so as to not wake the sleeping audience. "Time Dilation" is a great deal more ominous, the sound of technology decommissioned, a sputnik turned off, no longer beeping regularly, wobbled out of orbit and aimlessly adrift "in eternity". Ocassionally it reflects the errant light off some sun, but this is only a false sign of life. Both editions are wonderful examples of dark ambient with a soul.
Stephen Fruitman, Sonomu, November 2009

Ai transiti, tra una stagione e l'altra, tra buio e luce, e dunque alle aurore e ai crepuscoli, si ispirano i quattro brani, per un'ora complessiva, che sanciscono il pregevole debutto della novella sigla Sil Muir. I suoni della chitarra di Andrea Ferraris vengono sottoposti al trattamento di Andrea Marutti sfociando con percepibile unità d'intenti nelle sospensioni ambientali dilatate e attendiste di "The Winter That Dried You Out", nei drones solennemente austeri e con bel radiante diffondersi drammatico della notevole "The Springs That Never Comes", nel picco di più profonda oscurità e dark mood che viene raggiunto in "Light at 4:48", con diretto richiamo al "4.48 Psychosis" di Sarah Kane che in quel minuto identificò il momento di climax depressivo che incita al suicidio, e nella fissità isolazionista, tra misticismo e persecutorie angosce, di "We Don't Need Time, We're Already In Eternity". (7/8)
Paolo Bertoni, Blow Up, December 2009

Progetto iper-concettuale ad ancoraggio prettamente ambient (se questa parola ha ancora un significato oggi) dove Andrea "Ics" Ferraris e Andrea Marutti srotolano il trascorrere del tempo, inteso come susseguirsi di stagioni ed epoche in un'unica grande catalessi droonica senza inizio e senza fine. Lo schietto ed elegante artwork così come le altrettanto asciugate note rimandano ad un "black" di intenti che però a mio giudizio rimane sospeso. In bilico. Considerando la personalità degli artisti, molto puntigliosa ma indomita nel percorrere qualsiasi "mulattiera" sonora avrei suggerito una maggiore apertura elettrica ai pezzi: un'ascensione verticale che forse avrebbe tratteggiato di più la narrazione delle canzoni. Se tre quarti del disco infatti "raccontano" i passaggi (inverno/primavera, tramonto/alba, buio/luce), "Light at 4:48" si ispira invece alla celebre piece teatrale di Sarah Kane (4.48 Psychosis), completamente centrata sul tema del suicidio all'interno di un disperato bisogno d'amore. Un disco pesante quindi, da tutti i punti di vista: più difficile ed indigesto di qualsiasi concept Neurot e più nero e sciamanico di una profezia maya.
Marco Giorcelli, SodaPop, December 2009

Packed in an oversized cardboard box - which is one of the visual trademarks of the San Diego based label Diophantine Discs - lies a well hidden secret entitled Sil Muir. The silkscreened trees on the outside give away the source of these recordings, being wood: the material guitars are made of. The result is an organically journey through the majestic minds of Andrea Ferraris and Andrea Marutti, who we all (should) know from their alter ego's Ur and Amon / Never Known. Four tracks of beautiful ambience create one hour of the best guitar ambient. Sometimes with scarce melodies, then with ultra deep resonance, built from many modulated and treated sounds and well used reverbs, but always with emotion. And it's the emotional layers that make this release as beautiful as it is. The titles of the tracks give you an insight on what emotions come to mind when listening to the tracks. For example "The Spring That Never Comes" which has a tension where 'hope' and 'despair' are in full balance. And the Epic 23 minute masterpiece "We Don't Need Time, We're Already In Eternity" which leaves you in a state mind which resembles deep hypnosis ... Impressive! These two Italians prove they know what they are doing and no matter which instrument you give them, they will amaze you with their output. As for Diophantine Discs? This label has already shown their good taste and their right of existence with CD and vinyl releases by amongst others Sshe Retina Stimulants, Telepherique, Moth Electret (side project by Raan) and Sigillum S. Be sure to also check out their side activities under the name Tape Fiend. And yes, that one is tapes only!
Bauke van der Wal, Connexion Bizarre, February 2010

Andrea Marutti e Andrea Ferraris: ecco le menti che si celano dietro Sil Muir, interessantissimo progetto italiano di ambient dronica che nel 2009 taglia il traguardo del debutto su lunga durata per i tipi di Diophantine Discs. Per chi è avvezzo alle sonorità nate dalla deriva post-industriale degli anni 90, Marutti non rappresenta di sicuro una novità, dal momento che il nostro è stato, tra gli altri, titolare di progetti come Amon e Never Known, entità che hanno contribuito non poco a definire la sintassi di quell'ambient dronica che ha marchiato a fuoco il decennio dei 90's, frutto illegittimo partorito dalle ruggini post-industriali formatesi sul finire degli anni 80 e che vede Zoviet France e Cranioclast tra i precursori del genere. Uno stile musicale tanto criptico quanto affascinante che ha saputo ridefinire e ampliare, i confini dell'ambient music grazie all'introiezione di ritualità esoteriche e desertificazioni interiori; tutti elementi che hanno trovato diritto di cittadinanza in progetti come Maeror Tri e Troum o in etichette come la tedesca Drone Records. Il lavoro in questione si compone di quattro lunghe tracce che si sviluppano a partire dagli inviluppi prodotti dalla chitarra di Ferraris, a sua volta attivo nell'ottimo progetto di drone esoterico Ur, che viene successivamente trattata e manipolata da Marutti. La formula potrebbe ricordare da vicino quello che è stato il trademark dei tedeschi Maeror Tri, ma le affinità reggono solo da un punto di vista formale; se infatti la parabola del trio tedesco si è spesso caratterizzata per un inconfondibile alone di circolarità mistica, in questo caso ci troviamo di fronte alla contemplazione di una profonda e inequivocabile desertificazione interiore: assistiamo in piedi, sulle rovine, alla celebrazione di un rituale di passaggio in cui non è contemplato alcun tocco salvifico o rassicurante, in cui l'ascoltatore si confronta con la dilatazione delle proprie solitudini. Ottimo risulta anche il contrappunto tra parte acustica e parte sintentica: la chitarra di Ferraris rimane voce narrante durante l'intero lavoro, le manipolazioni di Marutti intervengono infatti senza operare alcun annullamento della morfologia dello strumento, operazione questa a cui ci si sarebbe potuti facilmente abbandonare ma che, inevitabilmente, avrebbe snaturato quel pathos desolante di cui è pregno il lavoro in questione. Da rilevare la terza traccia, "Light at 4:48", probabilmente il momento in cui si raggiunge l'acme emotiva di questo "Sil Muir" e che, nello specifico, rimanda alla struggente "4.48 Psychosis" di Sarah Kane, opera con cui l'autrice inglese decise di siglare la propria dipartita da questo mondo.
Sandro Zinani, Onda Rock, February 2010

Drone is definitely best when it's approached in a more caveman way; a simple focus on tones and getting the soundscape right over that whole "let's make it highbrow and add some experimental parts and a concept to the album" approach is definitely the way to go. Sil Muir may have some hidden depth somewhere in this album, but I can't find it as I'm too busy zoning out and space travellin' to the hypnotic, deep drones and tones that pervade this nice (and nicely packaged) release. This whole release comes across as Fennesz or Hecker giving a subtle makeover to some Alan Lamb or Jonathan Coleclough. The deep, thick-timbred tones- it's definitely string based instruments being used but I have no idea what- vibrate (into eternity, bro) away while soaring, smeared lines float over the top of the deep drone. The amount of studio processing varies somewhat from track to track and seems to build up through the album; at the start it's all long, pure drones but by the end of album things definitely lean towards a processed, fairly shoegazey haze that strikes me as very Hecker-ish if he was a bit less cheerful. This is of course an excellent thing. Another quality artist I'd compare to this too would be Sleep Research Facility; while this is more dynamic (not a hard thing) the many low, almost subsonic drones reverberating through the mix add a similar sense of massive natural ambience. This would sound perfect in a cave, or Mt.Erebus on a calm day. The sounds and drifting, infinite tones are so good and well done that it's almost a shame this album is so long. Not that I mind it, and I do enjoy drifting away for an hour or so, but the length of this thing makes it hard to really concentrate on the music for the whole time; instead it ends up as more of a "turn on, zone out" kind of deal; that's all fine and good but when it comes down to it I think this record deserves better; the attention to detail is stunning and it's sort of sad that people will generally listen to it solely as a sleep inducer/meditation type music/stuff to tune out to. Not to say that that isn't a valid way of hearing this (it's called ambient/drone for a reason) but this deserves full attention. Still, it excels at that. I can go on about how good it sounds and the like but what it succeeds best at- and ultimately what is most important in music- is that it immerses you like few other things. Massive soundscapes, heaps of subsonics (works on headphones but big speakers are recommended), incredible tones and a sound that can best be described as "huge". Up there with the best, I think.
Caspian, Heathen Harvest, March 2010

Sil Muir is a guitar-based ambient/drone collaborative project of Andrea Ferraris and Andrea Marutti. Ferraris is responsible for the guitars and Marutti responsible for the processing of the sounds. It's a fairly competent album built around very slow moving ambient drones. It sounds slightly different to a lot of drone work albums as the main instrument here is guitar rather than keyboards. So you get moments where you can hear that it's being played on a string instrument. A lot of the main drone sounds though seem to be generated by something other than a plectrum vibrating the strings which gives it, it's more drone like nature. My main concern with this album is that is seems to be missing something. A lot of it seems like it's a backing track and that it's waiting for something else to be added on to it. The drones themselves are so slow moving and subtle that it could all very easily just get put on as background music and forgotten about. On the odd occasion that it gets a bit more adventurous and the guitar sounds a bit more alive (such as about 2 thirds of the way through track two or the last half of track 4 - where it starts to almost sound like Main) then it begins to feel like a good release. But ultimately these moments are too few and far between and there isn't enough there to grab your attention. I realise that drone works are very slow moving and little changing but you have to have a sound that is interesting to the ear to start with and that benefits from repetition and these 4 tracks need some work in that department.
David Bourgoin, Musique Machine, September 2010

Italian duo (Andrea Ferraris and Andrea Marutti) working with the conversion of guitar sounds into cosmic oceans of unlimited cerebrum kneading. Perhaps moderately bordering on Aidanbakerville, of which Sil Muir are eligible as proficient inhabitants; nonetheless, the results are often engrossingly cinematic, throbbing in the "right" way, cuddling the listener with authority and warmness at once. When the reverberations of the instrumental font manage to reach the mix's vanguard, an unsolicited skeletal melodicism tries to rear its ugly head, providentially for short fractions. On the whole a good, solid album of drones, lacking a bit in originality but ultimately without real weak spots. It grows with the elapsing of time.
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, January 2012
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