12th Isle / UK / 2023
Under the production moniker of Material Things, 12th Isle co-founder Stewart Brown unveils a part debut album part compendium of musical collaborations spanning from 2015-2020. Some recordings began as long, one-take improvisations (How's Life, Peckham) spliced together and revisited years later. Others were based upon chance opportunities to record with musicians operating a long way from the parameters of 12th Isle. Cult private-press loner folk guitarist Bob Theil, whose 1982 album So Far counts as one of the Scottish greats of the era, is at the heart of 'Westway'. Synth and guitar fragments recorded by the pair in Stewart's family home one summer form a low-key conclusion to the collection, whilst London based percussionist Pike Ogilvy brings an array of drum sounds and natural percussion to 'No Direction'. Regular 12th Isle affiliate Vague Imaginaires also features heavily, contributing synth work on Grenoble and his own extended digi bonus remix of 'How's Life'.
As a collection, the 8 tracks show a studious, concise vision and combine influences from minimalism, concrete and avant-garde jazz and techno yet also embrace friendship, experimentation and curiosity whilst capturing 5 years of the artists own personal life. Some of the tracks have been circulating in various versions for a number of years now, with DJ support from Bake, Ivan Smagghe, Optimo, Lena Willikens, Huntley & Palmers, Orpheu The Wizard and, of course, 12th Isle.