Gavin Miller - Meander Scars

Lost Tribe Sound
(LTS037: 708527180921)
Release date: 11/16/2018

Meander scars are geological features formed by the remnants of winding or meandering water channels. They are caused by the varying velocities of current within the river channel. Due to higher velocity current on the outer banks of the river through the bend, more erosion occurs causing the characteristic steep outer slopes.

Lost Tribe Sound's next installment comes courtesy of friend, musician and talented music writer, Gavin Miller. While his name may not be instantly recognizable to some, Gavin has been creating music for nearly a decade as one half of the sublime electronic ambient duo, Worriedaboutsatan, and has quite a few solo releases under his belt. In addition, Gavin has been a invaluable force in bringing many overlooked musical acts to the forefront through his brilliant writings for the UK publication, Drowned in Sound.

'Meander Scars', Gavin's new double album is very much a departure from his previous output. While the use of acoustics has always resided in the backdrop on many of his solo and group efforts, it's plain to hear that with 'Meander Scars' these natural elements have risen to the top. Lost Tribe Sound is the ideal home for a Gavin Miller this delicate and organic.

The long-form compositions of 'Meander Scars' were constructed from a series of slow churning rhythmic guitar loops, warm noise, soft synths and distant choirs which build over time into colliding patterns of pastoral bliss. Patient and mindful listening is key for these innocuous sounds to begin to carve their saturated pathways through the mind. Much like a river meandering over thousands of years, slowly dragging away the sediment and scaring the surrounding land, these pieces begin to take form, eroding away the malleable earth, letting gravity take hold to travel the course of least resistance.
It would be a mistake to call this album simple, or primal and leave it at that. Perhaps it's the opinion of someone who has not thoroughly let it absorb. The restraint used to give the listener just the right amount of interest and to keep the music's progression moving forward is perhaps Gavin's greatest accomplishment with 'Meander Scars.' Yet to be honest, upon first hearing the album, we too were fooled into thinking this minimal approach required more clutter.

Being the ever curious and meddling types here at LTS, we engaged multi-instrumentalist and label mate Aaron Martin (From the Mouth of the Sun) to utilize his gorgeous cello sounds and other odd bits in his musical arsenal to fill out moments in the songs. Graciously, Aaron joined in, adding trembling washes of strings, chimes and other indiscernible noise to Gavin's compositions. Gavin than revisited his original material, carefully layering and balancing in the new instrumentation from Aaron.

Excited by the results, Gavin shared them with us, and it was undeniable that Aaron's arrangements had created deep new conduits for the ears to follow. Yet, it wasn't until this moment that we fully appreciated the beauty of the original works. Torn by which versions to present as the final album, we realized why not present them both.

Each version had a seemingly different affect on our conscious. The 'Upper Course' with Aaron Martin's additions, flows very much like a young river, faster, more active and commands the listener to be more attentive. Whereas, the original source material of 'Lower Course' mimics the behavior of an older river, slow flowing, in moments coming to a crawl. It's no longer the force able to move large boulders from its path. Yet in its stripped down form, it allows the listener to more easily traverse its tame currents, becoming the perfect cyclical backdrop needed for writing, drawing, and a multitude of other tasks requiring increased mental faculties.

1. Upper Course I (featuring Aaron Martin)
2. Upper Course II (featuring Aaron Martin)
3. Upper Course III (featuring Aaron Martin)
4. Upper Course IV (featuring Aaron Martin)
5. Lower Course I
6. Lower Course II
7. Lower Course III
8. Lower Course IV

Music & Arrangements by Gavin Miller 
Additional Instrumentation on 'Upper Course' by Aaron Martin   

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