Digital Download


Witness Engine: Xining Earthquake 2021
Efficiencies: Fuck This And Fuck You

MICHAEL BEGG Moonlight And Sentiment

CD album | gg412
Michael Begg is an award winning Scottish composer, sound artist, and musician. In 2000, he began the Human Greed project with Deryk Thomas, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums, including Black Hill, Fortress Longing and World Fair. Since 2007, he has been a core contributor to Clodagh Simonds’s cult collective, Fovea Hex. He is an associate artist at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, and artist in residence with the European Marine Board. Begg has released a number of recordings in his own name, working more progressively towards a territory comprising site specific thematic exploration, contemporary classical music, software development and studio experimenting. In 2018 he won the New Music Scotland award for TITAN, a Cryptic commission for Sonica Festival. Shortly thereafter he founded the Black Glass Ensemble to develop new forms of music for the anthropocene, informed by scientific collaboration and data sonification. The Ensemble comprises fellow traveller in the UK underground, Ben Ponton (:soviet:france:), and players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. His recent output includes a collaborative CD with Krautrock legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius which is still available from Klanggalerie. This is what Michael says about Moonlight and Sentiment: “This music does not create a song for our ears. It is a ‘state’, such as moonlight poured over the fields.” Leonard Huizinga .This is not a crafted record. The quality is often very poor and the resolution is seldom realised. The melodic lines drift into sentimentality and the production lacks focus and rigour. It is, however, the authentic sound of moonlight suicides, Christmas midnights and a representation of a certain kind of recovered memory that ruins your sleep. I was in the midst of upheaval and I was trying to realise something. Whatever the ‘something’ was refused to play, and so something else has been realised instead. Something I had little control over, but this record seems to speak more truly to my private clear-night-sky self than any contrived contribution I may otherwise have forced upon you here. Don’t wake the children. Don’t trust the confession. We may still see snow. We must recover the moon." Full tracklist: 1. New Witness 2. The First Minister 3. Witness Engine: Xining Earthquake 2021 4. Wrong Hole, Captain 5. December Is Light And Warm 6. Chalfonts In Bloom 7. Efficiencies: Fuck This And Fuck You 8. First Night On The Sea. Price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Begg schept hier geen nummers met kop of staart, maar veeleer een zekere melancholische en mysterieuze atmosfeer. Daarvoor smeedt hij fraaie lassen tussen dark ambient, veldopnames en neoklassieke muziek. Hij kleurt het niet volledig in, zodat er ook genoeg aan de verbeeldingskracht van de luisteraar wordt overgelaten. De muziek balanceert daarbij tussen een mooie droom en een hevige nachtmerrie in, wat zorgt voor fijne spanningsbogen. Het geheel leent zich eveneens voor contemplatie, onthaasting, ontsnappen uit de realiteit en ook juist de harde werkelijkheid onder ogen te kunnen zien. Begg weet je een goede drie kwartier volledig in de houdgreep te nemen. Meeslepende en majestueuze pracht.
(Subjektivisten, September 2022)

Moonlight and Sentiment is bathed in hushed movements and slow tonal changes involving synths, piano, and location recordings - from which the album rarely strays. That approach is articulated in the floating synths and slight wavering stream of frequency tones found on New Witness. Its apparent stillness ruptured as it slowly breaks triggering a sparkling formation of tones, strings and piano the frequency tones beamed like a spotlight over the vast landscape, and perhaps towards space as the synths reveal a more widescape cosmic dimension. Darker strains wind their way through the knocks and brooding synths of The First Minister, casting a shadow over a brittle melancholic piano score unfurling into muffled voices of a sampled recording.
(Compulsion, November 2022)