[releases] afe117lcd
alistair crosbie: musicforshipwrecks

  Artist: Alistair Crosbie
Title: Musicforshipwrecks
Format: CD-R ltd. to 100 copies in pro-printed cardboard sleeve
Tracks: 4
Playing time: 41:22
Release date: October 2008
File under: Ambient / Drone Music

Track List:

1.  Sirenmusic  8:39

2.  Saltwatermusic  19:38

3.  Rustmusic  9:13

4.  Elegymusic  3:44



Alistair Crosbie
(born 1973) is a Scottish musician primarily concerned with sound processing.

He began playing music whilst at school, initially learning the guitar but began to pursue a more experimental line in 1993 when he and Brian Lavelle founded Inversion, a constantly shifting exploration of sound with a small clutch of cassette releases on labels such as Chocolate Monk and Freedom From.

In 2000, he began to work with rhythm programming and computers, creating the project d/compute and releasing an EP and a full-length album on John Charles Wilson's Mouthmoth label. This project concluded in 2003 when Crosbie came to feel that he had done as much as he could within that format.

Today, Crosbie's main instrument is still the guitar but he has also made several albums with other sound sources including "Map Dot Fingerprint" on Kovorox Sound which was made using only a shortwave radio and "The Study of Cycles" which contained only the sound of his voice.

The majority of his recent work has been released through his own Lefthand Pressings imprint which he founded in 2006.

A keen collaborator, he continues to work with Brian Lavelle, although they no longer use the name Inversion; the duo released a new album, "Disused" in 2007 and have begun work on an Inversion archive release.

Crosbie also works extensively with Andrew Paine, Alec Cheer, Lea Cummings (as White Against This Sky) and Ruaraidh Sanachan (as Eye Shaking Kingdom) as well as appearing with Opaque at a handful of live shows.

We are very glad to release "Musicforshipwrecks" on Afe
, here's a description of the album according to Alistair's own words:

"Musicforshipwrecks" is the third in an occasional series of albums, expanding on the previous volumes "Musicfordrowning" (Lefthand Pressings, 2006) and "Musicforlighthouses" (Quinquaginta, 2007).

I wanted to really tell a story with this installment as this was something I hadn't done across a whole album previously. I also wanted to stick to conventional instrumentation - aside from a voice sample on the opening track, all the sounds are either guitar (tracks 2 and 3) or synthesiser (tracks 1 and 4).

The album was recorded across the first three months of 2008 - during this period, I had to cross a river at least twice a day and the weather was mostly awful. This undoubtedly influenced the album's contents.

I had originally intended this to be the last "Musicfor..." release but I have come to feel that there is one more part of this story to be told.


"In "Musicforshipwrecks" l'intento dello scozzese Alistair Crosbie è di raccontare una storia, se è vero che il disco è stato registrato nei primi mesi del 2008, quando gli toccò attraversare un fiume almeno due volte al giorno e con un tempo tutt'altro che clemente. L'esperienza è riflessa in un'ambient scura e chitarristica ("Saltwatermusic" e "Rustmusic") o elaborata con un synth (l'iniziale "Sirenmusic" e la conclusiva "Elegymusic")..."
Blow Up

"...Questo disco, dal titolo perfetto per il suo contenuto, è il terzo di una serie di lavori a tema (qui si parla di relitti sommersi) di questo stampo, ed è realizzato solamente con sintetizzatori e chitarra, le cui lente volute, ricche di armonici e stratificate con estrema delicatezza, si rivelano psicostimolanti ad un ascolto distratto ma anche deliziose se trattate con la dovuta attenzione. La prima traccia è decisamente un piccolo capolavoro che rende perfettamente l'idea della discoperta di un tesoro nascosto all'interno di un relitto sotto il mare come quello raffigurato nelle
cupe grafiche..."
Sound and Silence

"Transported through metal tubes and water the sound emerges with a spacious vastness. Swirling drones sounding like a voice and organ with lots of reverb. The expanding sound is mesmerizing and curls gently into your ear where it seems to reverberate. Slowly "Sirenmusic" unfolds and a slight melody appears in the twilight of these drones... Spacious guitar drones are taking you from the deep ocean to the surface where you can hear the waves... Like a smooth blanket "Saltwatermusic" sinks over you and make you feel comfortable and relax.The slow crackling sound of huge metal plates is transported through the water in "Rustmusic", a perfect chosen name... Last track "Elegymusic" stays in the same vein and ends this deep ambient CD almost melodic..."

"Giving your album a strikingly similar cover image to one of the finest compositions of the 20th century, the Les Disques Du Crepuscule release of Gavin Bryars' "Sinking of the Titanic", is always going to grab my attention but it does place the album in a perilous place regarding the expectations it has raised in my mind.Musically, there are similarities also, as Crosbie's muse is a melodically ambient one and he is imbuing the music with a distinctly aquatic feel (as you can probably guess from the title)... The nineteen (and change) minutes of the second track is the real gem here as it rolls and soars throughout but the other three are all eminently listenable. Recommended."
Wonderful Wooden Reasons

...Much of the album did indeed sound aquatic, troubled, and melancholy, and yet, perhaps because of the timbres employed, I generally felt like I was half-watching a movie of a shipwreck or looking at a stylized drawing of one, at a remove from both the art and its subject matter. The most gripping portions of the album, for me, were the distorted guitar swells in "Saltwatermusic," but even these seemed too regular in their repetition to have much visceral impact. Perhaps in melding the words in each title together, Crosbie seeks to imply that the music and the nautical object are inextricably linked, I'm not sure, but each time the album ended, I felt that the music had moved further from its antecedent."
Foxy Digitalis

After numerous outings and occasional collaborators "Musicforshipwrecks" pretty much sums up the feeling of standing at the edge of the sea, a lighthouse above you, watching out for sinking vessels in cold misty waters. Crosbie's main instrument is apparently the guitar, which he uses with a rich droning effect if this is the case on this release; there is this vast sense of cavernous space that, whilst being fresh and cold, has this overwhelming sense of abandonment. It is far from overbearing, almost more down the path of "that's life" rather than leaving the listener oppressed, and you could almost just shrug your shoulders and sigh. Clocking in at just over 41 minutes over four tracks, this album concentrates on the path of a ship as it heads towards its watery fate; from the call of the siren the sailors stumble to their grave with the salty depths smothering them. The ship over time turns to rust and their story remains to be told to future generations. Everyone likes a good story. I really do like "Musicforshipwrecks"..."
Connexion Bizarre

...each track nicely gives a drifting and slowly developing feeling of grandeur and harmonic richness as if your slowly drifting over the fallen ornate and majestic wonder of a once powerful and seemingly unsinkable ship. With banks of multicolour fish weave in and out of the structure, and sunlight ever-so often catching the fallen grandeur of the wreck, yet there's also the odd hint of dark more murky drone undercurrents too suggesting the dark more sinister feel of shipwrecks. Crosbie seems to be using a fairly simplistic, but never the less effective series of pulled-out synthesizer tones and guitar elements which he aptly manipulates into the tracks grand harmonic yet often watery drifting feel. You can hear traces of Eno, as well as a few other ambient artists work through-out "Musicforshipwrecks", yet Crosbie adds enough of his own sonic flavour and dramatic ambient flare to make this more than just a simply rehash of ambient clichés."
Musique Machine