Frozen Quarters was originally released on Under The Spire as a limited edition CD of only 150 copies.
Under The Spire is a limited edition CD label only and no digital issues of their catalog are released in conjunction with the CD copy.
At Audio Gourmet, we have decided to re-release this Spheruleus masterpiece as our second 'full-release' and make it available for digital purchase.
Frozen Quarters is the work of Lincolnshire-based sound designer Harry Towell, under his Spheruleus artist guise. The album was written and recorded during a particularly cold winter throughout the UK and the recordings within this project were all made locally in the artist's house, at work and out and about in his locality.
The idea was to record and 'freeze' these environments as to trigger nostalgia throughout the future as the years pass.
The field recordings provide the narrative to this story, whilst the melody and tone adds character. All tone was created using recorded and treated compositions from the following instruments: piano, zither, harmonica, trumpet, vibraphone and guitar.
We hope you enjoy the second full album release on Audio Gourmet and may this be a cherished part of your winter playlist this year.
If anybody wishes to purchase a physical copy of this album, at the time of writing there are a few left available from Under The Spire:
Spheruleus is an ambient composition project from young Lincolnshire-based sound designer Harry Towell, collecting fourteen pieces that all in some way feature recordings made in and around the artist's locality, making for music that serves as "an attempt to preserve and capture my day-to-day environment". Towell's music fits perfectly within the Under The Spire universe, not only evoking the sort of misty lusciousness that's become the imprint's calling card, but even calling upon the mastering services of previous UtS contributor Ian Hawgood (curator of the Home Normal imprint) who helps cast a frosty sheen over the album. There's a little more instrumental substance running through this edition than on some of the label's prior outings, and opening cut 'Vignette' recalls the scratchy, lo-fi and wintry melodies of Finnish soundscaper Hannu, while 'Solution' provides a similar feel crinkling through ghostly music box figures. The flow between instrument-focussed content, field recordings and processed drones imbues the record with an especially compelling and varied arc, one that goes to extremes at times: apparently Towell clambered into a skip to record some of this to capture the right sort of natural reverb he was looking for. Now that's commitment for you. Taking an entirely different angle'Crescent' and 'Colophon' come close to Leyland Kirby or Caretaker-style looped reminiscences, emerging from an auditory fog - something that only amplifies the stealthily emotive character of the record. If there's one defining factor to these Under The Spire discs it's surely their accessibility, and their tendency to render abstract drone music an approachable and enjoyable experience - often even to the unconverted. This has seldom been more true than in the case of Frozen Quarters, an album full of evocative frequencies and atmospheric designs. Recommended.
In addition to being the founder of the netlabel Audio Gourmet, Lincolnshire based sound designer Harry Towel also records ambient/drone music under the guise of Spheruleus… Frozen Quarters was originally released 15th March of this year in a limited run of 150 by Under The Spire. As the abel does not offer downloads, this download-only reissue is intended by Towell to enable Frozen Quarters to reach a larger audience, which thankfully gives the uninitiated a chance to own this gem of an album Recorded over Winter in Towell’s local surroundings, Frozen Quarters serves as a time capsule, firmly implanting the season in the listeners mind, fitting then, that the reissue comes just in time to see in the coming Autumn the season in the listeners mind, fitting then, that the reissue comes just in time to see in the coming Autumn months. The album is anchored by the use of field recordings and organic sounds and one gets the sense that Frozen Quarters was lovingly constructed over quite some time. Frozen Quarters was lovingly constructed over quite some time The album begins with Vignette, a track which recalls an eastern style. The listener becomes aware that throughout this work Towell seldom uses his instruments in a way which may be expected, preferring instead to use each instrument as a tool for texture and ambience, sculpting an abstract soundscape As the album progresses, the tracks become stronger. Each note, field recording and drone helps to build a soundscape for the listener to get lost in, usually complemented by wonderfully creaky sounds and static pops field recordings and drones. This is music as an abstract art-form and Towell does it well By the time sixth track Appliance plays, Towell has hit his stride, producing music of impressive depth and intelligence. The listener may recall Idea Fire Company though if the eminent sound collective are an influence or if this is just a case of shared intent, one cannot tell This reissue is released as a download on Towell’s own Audio Gourmet but for those wishing to own a physica copy, there are still a limited number available from Under The Spire recordings.- Review by Adam Williams Fluid Radio
released 01 September 2010
Originally released on Under The Spire, 15/03/2010
Written, recorded and designed by Harry Towell
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Cover art by Eric Lacombe (Monstror)
for more information on the artist behind this.