Jon Brooks ’52’ (Clay Pipe Music)


A house. Isolated from the world by fields and hedges, alternatively draped in shadow – illuminated by almost divine light.

Day breaks and the sound here is nothing more than the static of recorded air on a nondescript day. A bird chirrups in the distance. A synth draws us in to an ambient musing as rays of sun break through grey clouds and filter in through the window. The birds tweet outside, amplifying a distance, a loneliness – theirs is the echo of a world long since gone. There are shadows inside the house, an uneasy disquiet distilled in unexpected electronic rhythms. I place my foot on the stair and a modulating sound carries me discretely, ghost-like, to the mezzanine. I listen to the waking of inanimate objects until the wind whistles through tiny holes in the walls and the oncoming storm makes itself known. I seek refuge in taut cables and firing synapses, listening to indistinct computer voices talk to each other. They sound like eggs bobbing in boiling water, there is warmth in these voices, a glimpse of home but I am lost in fibre optics which are so very far from comfort. I switch off again and allow myself to regenerate.

Faeries dance on the pond, skate across the gently lapping waters sculpting dew drops on the tips of leaves. They’re invaded by the repetitious interlude of humming electricity, something is waking. A burrowing creature, assaulting the earth, antennae brushing the fibre optics and confusing the worlds, leaving me stranded between dreams and consciousness. Light filters through half-closed eyelids, I don’t open them until I hear the wind in the glass bottles which hang like charms from the December trees.

The grandfather clock ticks and rays of sunshine fill the room, shedding light on half remembered memories like fireflies emerging from shadow. The impression fades away as quickly as it emerged, warmth is quickly replaced by a cold electronic world of unfathomable reality. The discordant sound of a radio being tuned, dialled too fast between stations so not a single voice is heard. It settles, leaving its trace to throb like a migraine. I move away from the house to the pond outside, no fae to be found, just the transcendence of fading light illuminating the hidden depths. I enter the pond, bubbles on my skin rise to the surface and transmute into computer song – the two sounds barely distinguishable from one another. Under the pond there is a cave, dripping with water and breaking glass. Home again, somehow. Back to the room with ticking time and a sense of loss; not an empty, unbearable loss but the sadness of losing those it is hard to live without. At the end of the corridor there is a darker place, a waking reality of pre-recorded static – a grey day waiting to begin.

52 is released on 13 October 2014 through Clay Pipe Music, and will be limited to 500 vinyl copies.

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