Much like travel literature, Distance on Ground, comprised of two long form improvisational tracks by Martha Skye Murphy and Maxwell Sterling, enacts the motion of journeying as it embarks on a discussion of it. Conceived as travel music, the compositions move between urban and rural landscapes and are accompanied by a participatory website--distanceonground.com-- where the listener can voyage in real time to and with the music in their chosen environment.
Born out of several improvised recording sessions, this body of work marks the beginning of Martha and Maxwell's collaboration. The immediacy of the way the music is created, captured and edited allows the listener to feel as if they are listening from within the studio it was recorded in.
Composition for The Neon Hieroglyph by Tai Shani, presented as part of the Manchester International Festival. Ergot played an important part in the North West’s agricultural, social and medical history: linked to local crops and breads, outbreaks of ergot poisoning caused mass hallucinations, with the last reported UK incident during the late 1920s in Manchester. The Neon Hieroglyph uses these experiences to spark new visions and alternative realities: a dreamlike CGI journey that takes us from the cellular to the galactic, from the forests to the subterranean, from the real to the almost unimaginable.
Turn Of Phrase is rooted in place and bound by time, yet is simultaneously unstuck in both of these things. The record spans a range of locales; the remote coastal town of Morecambe and its harshly beautiful surroundings, the technicolour glamour of the heart of LA, and London - a city whose maze of contrasting environments and tunnel-visioned bustle offers a totally blank slate.
The music however is anachronistic, technically guided by a strict set of rules based in time, the record’s memories and environments are allowed to wander and overlap. The familiar and the personal swirl and collide within an unfamiliar soundscape. The result acts something like a decaying memory, brief shining moments of clarity fighting against something unclear and untethered.
Weaving an intricately detailed tapestry of meditative, spiritual jazz and dream electronics, Maxwell Sterling’s astonishing second album ‘Laced With Rumour: Loud-Speaker Of Truth’ blooms in the gaps between Don Cherry, Talk Talk and Kara-Lis Coverdale, gently coaxing us into a trance- like reverie where the real and artificial morph into one pulsing organism.
"Hollywood Medieval is an album about the glaring disparities and elaborate, underlying convolutions the composer observed and felt while working as a nanny for wealthy parents during his film composition studies at UCLA in the early part of the 2010s. Using an augmented a palette of classic DX7 and Juno 60 synths along with a severely warped bank of library samples and iPhone recordings, it spells out a queasily evocative simulacra of the city in flux, animating a sort of Ballardian tableaux that’s hyper-descriptive in its rendering of the hazy, dosed-up, and often delirious transitions between Hollywood's glamour and grime, using LA's gurning facades and ostentatious wealth as prompts for a richly visual side of sawn-off emotive signposts and jazz-taut turns of phrase that vividly etch on the memory in neon freehand." - Boomkat