Luke Mawdsley is a musician and composer, solo artist, collaborator and guitarist in Mésange, Mugstar and Cavalier Song. His work meditates on the human condition, stirring memory and desire within musical definitions of a terrific sublime. The results are a series of lush, yet darkly affective, symphonic abstractions weaving in and around melancholic myths and narratives. Luke deploys a post-minimalist sensibility, referencing a range of art forms and fascinations for repetition, unconventional rhythms and poetic design.
Mawdsley’s second solo album yields an evolving fascination for the elements. Phenomenological concerns are studied through a series of poignant sounds and clustered shapes, each evolving in effervescent pools that shimmer and stir, reflecting consciousness and the durational qualities of labour and time. Each track maps a deconstruction of degeneration and rebirth, their effects and affects mirrored and revolving in an uncanny catharsis, immersing and troubling the listener. Tension and grief are rewarded with bliss and beauty, encoded within lucid streams of movement and escape.
‘Midnight’ evokes the curving arc of a darkened motorway, where artificial lights flicker and trace anamorphic bodies in motion, traversing the thresholds of arrival and departure, restlessness and sleep while ‘Owl’ revisits the dark forest, exploring the textualities of wisdom, myth and an acute observance of animal otherness. The starkness of Mawdsley’s bleak vision meets illumination and redemption, located discretely in ‘Virgil Leads the Way’, where Dante’s epistolary assemblage is transcribed and transposed into a zoetrope of broken images and argute sounds.
Building on his debut, Obsessive Compulsive, Luke Mawdsley presents a less introspective and more mature approach to current compositions, resampling an ephemera of classical ideas and motifs which are then represented as a selection of vignettes, each carefully shaped to provide glimpses into a labyrinth of darkened corners touched by light. This album, develops a marriage of technical skill and a poetic imagination, affirming Mawdsley’s status as a leading composer within the fields of noise manipulation, leftfield ambience and a neo-classical avant-garde.
Mawdsley has performed across the U.K in a number of venues ranging from the esoteric to the implausible; bingo halls and dilapidated cinemas providing alternative sites for him to transmit electro-acoustic soundscapes and text to discerning listeners. Luke is a former member of Liverpool avant-garde group a.P.A.t.T. and is currently the lead guitarist in Mugstar. He has received commissions from Edge Hill University, The Blue Coat, FACT and Static Gallery, providing an ongoing portfolio of improvised and soundtrack works.
GNOD make NOISE; a churning scree of incandescent tumult that feels less like rock 'n' roll than an anonymously delivered pummelling to the head and guts in some dark alley late one Saturday night. GNOD's is a singularly British noise too. Yes, there are vague nods to early Swans but only a band playing in the ruins of what Cameron et al have done to this once green and pleasant land could raise such a conflagration as "Mirror". Whatever your musical taste, you need this album in your life immediately. No ifs, buts or maybes. Niccolo Brown