Release date: 10/06/2014
Genre: Electronic, Ambient
Memory and Matter comprises selected remixes and rarities from the past seven years, nine of them previously unreleased and many of them only issued only on hard to find EPs or as Japanese release bonus tracks. Far from being merely a collection of every single oddity, these tracks were carefully selected into a consistent whole that maintains the same high standard of proper Manual albums. This two-disc compilation is also a labor of love.
Like it's predecessor, Lost Days, Open Skies and Streaming Tides, released in 2007, disc one demonstrates Jonas Munk aka Manual's expertise in creating elegantly layered, shoegazey pop, while disc two focuses on minimalist, slow-moving pieces created mostly from processed guitars. The latter adds an excellent postscript to Confluence - an album that has gained near-classic status in ambient/drone circles since it's release in 2008.
Munk's way of remixing other artists usually involves a complete reconstruction of the original piece, rearranging heavily and adding loads of fresh layers of sound to it, which is obvious when listening to his haunting and atmospheric reworkings of Blue Foundation's ballad ”Dressed in Black” or Mice Parade singer Caroline's ”Sleep”, or the Robin Guthrie produced Annie Barker track ”Cruel”. For Manual fans it's a treat to hear Munk's lush signature sound paired up with (often female) vocals. Disc 1 closes with the 17 minute Manual original ”Camellia”, the most new age-indebted piece in the Manual oeuvre, originally created for a digital-only compilation on Attack9. The track's placid sense of drift and delicately weaved harmonies makes it a standout in Munk's entire body of work.
Disc 2 is darker, more ambiguous in tone, with ”Three Parts” as the center piece – an enigmatic composition originally created for Ghostly International's ambient/drone compilation SMM: Context in 2011. Other notable selections includes ”Fields”, a meditative collaboration with Jason Kolb from Auburn Lull, and ”Memento”, a somber piece that exhibits Munk's flair for intensive guitar manipulation.
Past praise for Manual:
Munk has consistently proved himself as a unique voice who disregards current trends and formula in favor of maintaining his own personal vision. (Stylus Magazine)
Think of what Air's soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides might have been like if they spent more time at the beach. Or think about Brian Eno, if he surfed and liked drinks with exotic names and umbrellas in them. Think about Tangerine Dream: their name even more than their sound… and you've got a beautiful, awe-inducing force of nature.” (Erasing Clouds Magazine)
There's so much absorbing detail in this music, words don't seem adequate enough to describe its soothing melodies, pulsating rhythms & post chill-out majesty. Existing beyond any pigeon hole, Manual straddles 40 years of blissed alternative sounds & is an absolute labour of love. (Norman Records) As intoxicating as incense, Munk's music sometimes feels like the best instrumental bits of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive melded together into epic settings drawn from psychedelic, ambient, electronic, and shoegaze genres. (Textura)
Packaging: Double eco wallet.
1. Manual: Swim
2. Sourin: Nagi (Manual remix)
3. Blue Foundation feat. Sara Savery: Dressed in Black (Manual remix)
4. Annie Barker: Cruel (Manual remix)
5. Salli Lunn: The Invention of Steel (Manual remix)
6. Manual: Miraparque
7. Imandra Lake: Vajun (Manual remix)
8. City of Satellites: Skeletons (Manual remix)
9. Caroline: Sleep (Manual remix)
10. Manual: Camellia (2014 version)
Disc 2 (All Manual):
2. Going Somewhere
4. Farther Away
5. Softness of Light
7. Three Parts
9. Vanishing Light
1. Stasis 2. Division 3. Hang 4. Counterpoise 5. New Lights 6. Congruence 7. Inertia 8. Parity
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