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Fovea Hex \ The Salt Garden [TWI 1247 / CD]

Les Disques du Crépuscule presents The Salt Garden (Landscaped), an album of extended pieces by acclaimed quiet music ensemble Fovea Hex, featuring longform remixes by British songwriter and producer Steven Wilson and Serbian soundscape artist Abul Mogard, as well as a previously unreleased mix by Peter Chilvers.

Formed in 2005 by Irish musician Clodagh Simonds, Fovea Hex have since released 3 albums (Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent, Here Is Where We Used to Sing and The Salt Garden), drawing favourable comparisons with Nico, This Mortal Coil, Ligeti and even Schubert. As well as Steven Wilson and Abul Mogard, other high-profile admirers include film director David Lynch, who invited the group to play at his Cartier Foundation exhibition in Paris in 2007, and Brian Eno, who has described Clodagh's work as "some of the most extraordinary songs I've heard in years."

The Salt Garden (Landscaped) gathers together 3 long ambient remixes of tracks from the Salt Garden EP trilogy, originally released between 2016 and 2019. The core album is pressed on crystal clear vinyl and showcases 'Solace' and 'Is Lanza Light & Given', both re-worked by musical polymath Steven Wilson. "I've long been a fan of Fovea Hex," explains Steven, "which for me is some of the most sublimely beautiful music ever recorded. It's a mix of electronic and acoustic sounds played on instruments ranging from state-of-the-art to ancient and arcane."

As well as the two tracks reworked by Steven, the bonus CD enclosed with the vinyl album also finds room for 'We Dream All the Dark Away', the widely-acclaimed re-interpretation by Abul Mogard of 'All Those Signs' from the Salt Garden II EP. By turns haunting and sinister, but always beautiful, the piece features vocals by both Clodagh and Brian Eno, as well as cello by Kate Ellis, and modular synth and effects by mysterious soundscaper Mogard.

An additional special bonus track on the CD is an unreleased remix of lesser-known 2015 digital single 'By the Glacial Lake' made by musician Peter Chilvers, best known for his collaborations with Brian Eno, Karl Hyde, Chris Martin and Tim Bowness.

"I feel truly honoured!" says Clodagh Simonds, who began her career in cult folk-psyche band Mellow Candle, and has since guested on albums by Mike Oldfield, Thin Lizzy, Russell Mills, Matmos, Current 93 and Steven Wilson. "It's been fascinating to witness how these pieces have been so imaginatively and skilfully revisioned in the hands of Steven, Abul and Peter. Each piece has emerged into a completely fresh new light, with a different vibrancy, yet remains grounded in what was there before."

The Salt Garden (Landscaped) is pressed on crystal clear vinyl, and comes packaged with a CD version featuring 4 tracks in total. The outer sleeve is printed in white reverse board and features an image taken by Crépuscule designer Joel Van Audenhaege during a recent trip to Greenland. The inner bag offers detailed liner notes as well as an interview with Clodagh.

Vinyl album tracklist:

A1. Is Lanza Light & Given (Steven Wilson Remix)
B1. Solace (Steven Wilson Remix)

Bonus CD tracklist:

1. Is Lanza Light & Given (Steven Wilson Remix)
2. Solace (Steven Wilson Remix)
3. We Dream All The Dark Away (Abul Mogard Remix)
4. By the Glacial Lake (Peter Chilvers Remix)

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The Salt Garden Landscaped [TWI 1247]
The Salt Garden Landscaped [TWI 1247]
LP + CD options


"Clodagh Simonds is best known as the vocalist in early 70s progressive folk band Mellow Candle and for her work with Mike Oldfield, so naturally her ensemble Fovea Hex has attracted collaborators from the prog and experimental fields. The Salt Garden trilogy of EPs, originally released on Steven Wilson's Headphone Dust label, feature haunting, slowly unravelling songs which makes them ideal remix material. On Is Lanza Light And Given piano notes hang in space like Brian Eno's Neroli, as keyboards drift across like sheets of mist around Simonds' voice, with more ominous synths looming in the distance."

"On the original, strings and keyboards ebb and flow followed by periods of silence and Wilson extends these elements into a spartan chamber piece with echoes of Arvo Part. The CD includes Serbian soundscaper Abul Mogard's beautifully desolate 20 minute We Dream All The Dark Away with a series of images sketched out on his synthesiser and Kate Ellis' cello. Peter Chilvers also contributes in an exquisite piano-led recasting of single By The Glacial Lake" (Prog Magazine 02/2021)

"The Salt Garden (Landscaped) is beautifully presented on clear vinyl and the inner sleeve includes an interview with Clodagh Simonds plus comments from Steven Wilson and Brian Eno. This is music for chilly autumn nights, music filled with gentle mystery which will tantalise long into the evening. Perhaps not for everyone, but then again you could say that about any music. Fovea Hex prove here there is a need for music that takes one away from the endless talk and noise of modern life - this is a collection of quiet wonder and purpose" (Louder Than War, 04/2021)

"Irish singer Clodagh Simonds has been recording in one guise or another since 1968, but it's with quiet music ensemble Fovea Hex that she has truly found her calling. These longform reworkings of tracks from her Salt Garden trilogy of EPs duly enhance Simonds' spectral, avant-folk vignettes, courtesy of atmospheric remixes by Steven Wilson and Abul Mogard. Wilson's deep synth textures add essential heft on the sparse, Dead Can Dance-like Solace, but enigmatic Serbian soundscaper ups the ante with We Dream All The Dark Away, and drone-like mass effect (with Brian Eno on backing vocals) that gradually envelops you into its dense form, like a sonic equivalent of the alien goo from The Blob." (Electronic Sound 04/2021)

"One of the defining characteristics of The Salt Garden is a sense of timelessness. More specifically, a sense of music that simultaneously resembles medieval balladry as much as futuristic electronic composition... Solace is aptly titled. An instrumental work, the full Fovea Hex ensemble creates a piece that links beautifully melded passages of electronics and stringed instrumentation. With lengthy segments of silence weaved into the more commanding musically oriented passages, it is an amazingly peaceful, yet still powerful piece of music that builds in volume and dynamics as it goes on... The CD is which is expanded with a blearily droning and oft-gorgeous 20-minute reinterpretation of All Those Signs by Abul Mogard... The fundamental beauty of this project has always lain in its overall aesthetic rather than in the craftsmanship of any individual songs and that remains true here. When Simonds and her collaborators are at their best, it uncannily feels like they are vessels through which imagined ancient folk songs are being soulfully and supernaturally channelled" (Brainwashed, 2019)