Author Topic: CELER I wanna see some opinions!  (Read 2275 times)

drone on

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CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« on: November 23, 2010, 01:15:10 AM »
There's been a flurry of Celer releases this past year or two, but nobody's discussing them here.  Those aware of their history know of course about the death of Danielle Baquet-Long, half of the duo (the other half being husband Will Long).  Apparently there is quite a bit of material they recorded together that is coming out on various labels.  This year alone I've bought "Dying Star," limited to 500 on Dragon's Eye Recordings; "Pockets of Wheat" on Soundscaping; and "Salvaged Violets" on Infraction (2 CD's).  There are a couple others I don't have yet: "Generic City," a collaboration with Yui Onodera, and a release on the French label Basses Frequences. 

"Dying Star" is super quiet minimal Eno-type ambient (all synths).  Probably the least "experimental" release so far.  You really need the headphones for this one it's so quiet. 

"Pockets of Wheat" and "Salvaged Violets" are darker and more experimental oriented, and mastered with more volume--a "louder" type of quiet music.  "Violets" is a two-disc set, with the discs not having any track titles or numbering on each disc.  The floral patterns on the CD's are very similar so you don't know which is Disc 1 and Disc 2.  Talk about minimal!  I found this   
a bit weird but maybe because the droning soundscapes are so amorphous and non-specific that it doesn't really matter. 

It's hard to pin down what makes Celer so enigmatic.  I find the music to be at once simple and complex.  A lot of it has this hovering, meandering quality with lots of spatial processing that is very subtle.  Like the best ambient, it's "background" music that demands attention nevertheless.  I'm not sure what Celer's influences were but Eno seems to be an obvious one; organic, ethereal, but not quite "space music."  Celer's releases are so subtle and "barely there" that I am never quite blown away by them, yet I continue to be fascinated enough to keep collecting their work.     

mgriffin

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 09:26:37 AM »
I've enjoyed every Celer recording I've heard, but there's no possible way I could keep up with everything released int he past two years.

You mentioned the loud/quiet issue. One thing I've noticed is most Celer recordings are extremely quiet, basically 10 or more db quieter than an ordinary ambient music recording. I think that's part of that whispery, "barely there" quality Celer seems to have.  It's sort of a 'trick" since most people leave the volume level setting on their playback equipment (ipod, stereo receiver, whatever) relatively unchanged... as a result Celer ends up seeming ghostly, whereas if you boost the volume up to a more common (for ambient) sound level, it sounds more like, well... relatively ordinary gritty/earthy ambient.  I've noticed the same thing about Velvet Cacoon's more ambient work... unusually low levels on the CD.
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jim02

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 12:54:45 AM »
Drone On, this is a nice topic!

yes, i think this 'past' duo made some memorable music outthere.. as every Celer release is really one to look forward to.
though i think that with their overwhelming amount of releases been done and waiting for being released, it may feel a bit like being saturated by them..

i hardly can think of any name within the ambient/electronic scene that throw out so many eyes in a considerable short time-span and has been sought after that much.

as for their Soundscaping disc, i think the 'louder' issue is also part of a louder mastering, same thing with the recent Chihei Hatakeyama which i personally find a bit annoying. both disc also share a similar shrill sound..

i didn't pay much attention yet to the Yui Onodera collab. but it features some fieldrecordings that feels at times like being a bit misplaced or not that well chosen.. well with that judgement it could be me only..

but talking about their music, it's the kind i like most, i always feel more connected with a quieter/lingering quality of sound which they seemed to master it. the music feels overall quite intimate, introspective and 'indeed' barely present in an almost smokey invisibility.. :-)
what i never heard before in ambient music like theirs, is that they have a strong story-telling feeling/caracter. like chapters in a book as many of their CDs tracktitles do tell.

it's such a tragic thing to know the fact that without Dani, the music will stop one day after all has been released. maybe the most incredible thing i heard this year came from Dani herself (Chubby Wolf), Ornitheology; On Burnt, Gauzed Wings. Music or sound could not go further inside than this particular track for me. just google-it and you will find it ;-)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 01:07:20 AM by jim02 »

drone on

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 01:30:37 AM »
Storytelling is an interesting perspective.  Actually it feels less like chapters but more like someone sharing an intimate experience through sound.  Actually the track titles are one thing I DON'T like about Celer--a bit too "arty" for my taste as they're sort of nonsensical and long-winded, as on "In Escaping Lakes" and "Nacreous Clouds."  Especially on long-form releases that are basically one long track: why index "songs" on these at all?   

Mark Mushet

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 01:15:52 PM »
Quite simply, there is a serious glut of Celer material out there. Some of it is sublime but there are some uninspired drones being released that don't really cut it for me. In Escaping Lakes is good as are the first two on Infraction. There are three more I have which I love but the titles are too long to recall!

runningonair

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 02:22:48 AM »
So far I've only listened to "Brittle".  Apparently recorded with acoustic instruments but you wouldn't be able to tell because they've all been filtered to near sine waves.  There appears to be no form, just one long piece, no change of pace, no change of harmonic language.  It just drifts on.  Is that a bad thing? well maybe not but it's not really doing much for me at the moment.

I'm not going to make a value judgment on their work based on just one piece.  If anyone has some links to a few net releases I'd be happy to give them another go.

drone on

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 08:28:26 PM »
"Brittle" is the absolute weakest Celer release I've heard, and the sound quality is downright awful.  I'd investigate "In Escaping Lakes" (SlowFlow Rec, Japan) for an example of their best music.

jim02

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2010, 09:15:15 AM »
a nice interview with Will from Celer;
http://textura.org/reviews/tenquestions_willlong.htm

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2010, 09:34:18 PM »
Just received...."In Escaping Lakes & Pockets Of Wheat.  really beautiful music, great packaging, and absolutely horrid production/mastering.  I have a very good monitoring system in my studio and my bass cones were producing frequencies that move the cone in a way I had never seen or heard before.  Today in my car the speakers distorted and my driver side window vibrated so much it produced harmonics......perhaps this was intended.....Wow, 3D music.  I dont think so.  Its a shame because I love the music.  Im going to rip the cd's in mp3 format on to my computer in the hope that the compression will help to eliminate these rogue frequencies because none of this is evident when you audition tracks on the net.

Come on Labels & Artists.....please get the basics right so we can enjoy the the wonderful music you release!

Cheers.....Julio

mystified

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2010, 09:53:32 AM »
Will allowed me to remix his "Dying Star" pieces. I made them into one longform track with some heavy processing. I am not sure what I am going to do with the remix, and some of that depends on Will himself and what he decides, but if anyone is curious, here is an excerpt of the remix free to stream:

http://soundcloud.com/mystifiedthomas/dying-star-celer-mystified-remix-excerpt

I am actually only a recent fan of Celer's, but am enjoying their form of drone music quite a bit of late. They have a new 12" vinyl out, and I can't wait to hear it.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 09:55:05 AM by mystified »
Thomas Park
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mystified

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Re: CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2010, 04:10:24 PM »
That mystified remix of Celer's "Dying Star" will be released on the Petcord netlabel in full for free in March 2011.

Hope I did not hijack the thread-- back to Celer tidings. . .
Thomas Park
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