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Embassy Nocturnes

by Aging ~ Land Trance

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the_wynonaproject thumbnail
the_wynonaproject I've been browsing through Bandcamp releases a lot recently trying to find something new. This is by far the best thing I've come across so far! I couldnt wait for my next paycheck to be able to buy this vinyl! Amazing! I hope to see more vinyl releases soon
bewilderbeeste thumbnail
bewilderbeeste An amazing late-night-in-the-dark lp, the tracks glide along like dream sequences. ♥️
icastico thumbnail
icastico The mood matches the album art and wraps you comfortably in its gauze and lace.
wanda_am thumbnail
wanda_am very atmospheric and mysterious + that sax tone is lovely! Favorite track: Under Chandeliers.
psymonk83 thumbnail
psymonk83 Stunning record. The vinyl is equally beautiful. Some words about this record.

RABDiamondz thumbnail
RABDiamondz Stunning record. Made for good quality headphones. Favorite track: Creeping Moonlight.
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    Includes unlimited streaming of Embassy Nocturnes via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Findings I 03:18
Findings II 03:49
Night Wounds 03:58
New Opiate 06:26


Embassy Nocturnes is the debut collaboration between Manchester-based Aging and Liverpool-based duo Land Trance.

Aging, led by seasoned multi-instrumentalist and Tombed Visions label owner David McLean, utilises the traditional jazz quintet to evoke the iconography of film noir and hard-boiled detective fiction, creating a proudly specific genre music for night-time consumption. Specialising in spacious, nocturnal improvisation and ballad heavy melodies present on releases such as 'Suitable for Night', 'Troubles? I got a bartender' and 2020's beautifully arranged LP 'Sentenced To Love', the band continue to conjure a deeply cinematic trip through the shadowy metropolises and rain soaked streets of classic 20th century crime stories.

Land Trance is the duo of Benjamin D. Duvall and Andrew PM Hunt, both active practitioners in the UK experimental music scene since the mid-2000s. The former as founder and creative director of prepared guitar ensemble Ex-Easter Island Head, the latter as leader of art pop group Outfit and more recently as a prolific composer and solo performer under his Dialect alias, with 2021's 'Under ~ Between' on RVNG Intl garnering significant critical acclaim for its idiosyncratic blending of electronic and acoustic textures. As Land Trance, the duo make an ecstatic, ecclesiastical form of psychedelic music rich in improvisation, instrumental colour and found sounds to create an elusive sense of place and memory. Their debut First Séance was voted 14th in The Quietus' best albums of 2020, with a vinyl reissue by Rocket recordings released in June 2021.

Embassy Nocturnes was recorded in the expansive basement of Liverpool's former Brazilian embassy. The nine evocatively titled pieces that make up the album act as their own distinct scenes, suggesting the labyrinthine atmosphere of the empty ballroom, the secret compartment and the damaged-beyond-repair reel of 8mm film marked “1968” discovered therein. Throughout, synthesisers glow and arc like approaching lights in the driveway; piano chords hang like cut-glass chandeliers. Echoes of quartet recitals for long gone dignitaries permeate the brass and bowed strings, electric guitar and tenor saxophone wreathed in red velvet and cigar smoke.

Elsewhere, pulsing machine rhythms and oscillating electronics evoke a passengers eye view of some neon expanse at cruising speed, with Joel C. Murray's agile and propulsive drum-work fluttering and hissing around the arrangements like steam valves opening and closing. Pealing, mournful trumpet bookends the album like a ghostly echo from the lower floors whilst other elements – dictaphone, bamboo marimba, plucked zither – weave through the pieces as enigmatic objects in an unknown narrative.

Embassy Nocturnes is a bold first meeting of musical voices, united through their commitment to creating a distinctive sense of place within their work. With group improvisation being sculpted into adventurous forms through extensive post-production and instrumental arrangement, the music blurs the edges of each artists’ distinctive musical vocabularies to create a vivid, mysterious collection of instrumentals rendered with cinematic richness.

"While 2020 was a defining year for the most obvious reasons, Manchester-based Aging and Liverpool’s Land Trance went beyond the natural concerns.

Jazz collective, Aging, released Sentenced to Love, which saw the five-piece very much atop of their creative arc. Sentenced to Love contained the kind of noir-inspired muzak that wouldn’t look out of place in the bellows of a smoke-filled Berlin bar frequented by the local bourgeois; or, indeed, a swathe of characters from a Philip Kerr novel.

Then there’s Land Trance. Consisting of Ex-Easter Island Head’s Benjamin D. Duvall and Andrew PM Hunt (the latter also of Dialect who released his latest LP earlier this year, Under~Between), 2020 saw the pair unleash the year’s finest record to emerge from Merseyside with their debut album, First Séance.

An album that reached beyond the terrains of Ex-Easter Island Head’s prepared guitars and rigid percussion, First Séance was a fragmented multi-layered representation of sound design, oscillating between gentle acoustic-based drones and warped sonic arrangements. It was a record that provided the light through the murky tunnels that we found ourselves in during 2020.

With arguably their finest recordings committed to tape yet, Aging’s multi-instrumentalist and Tombed Visions label owner, David McLean, combines with Duvall and Hunt for their debut collaboration cut, Embassy Nocturnes.

Alongside the trio is Liverpool drummer, Joel C. Murray, who adds his feverish, sinewy rhythms from behind the drum kit. While there are guest appearances from fellow Ex-Easter Island Head member Benjamin Fair (piano, synthesiser), as well as Christen Hutchinson (double bass) and Nick Hunt (trumpet), Murray joins Duvall (sampler, shahi baaja, bamboo marimba, zither, drum machine), Hunt (piano, synthesiser, saxophone, drum machine), and McLean (saxophone, guitar, piano) as the quartet that do most of the heavy lifting for Embassy Nocturnes. Recorded in the basement of Liverpool’s former Brazilian embassy, Embassy Nocturnes unlocks the gates that lead to previously uninhabited enclaves.

With opening composition, Shattered Rooms, and later with The Ornamented Lock we are subjected to misty atmospherics that sound like the forgotten offspring of Bohren and Der Club of Gore and Angelo Badalamenti. Caked with an extra layer of mystery beyond that Lynchian charm, it’s like being ushered by benevolent spirits to the basement of the Black Lodge.

Away from that and Under Chandliers possesses echoes of the late ’90s/early ’00s improv’ balladry from The Necks prior to their full descent into the vortex of doom jazz.

Creeping Moonlight dances on the fringes of Mi Media Naranja-era Labradford, while Findings I combines elements of all four of these experimental touchstones, but with a thrilling new vitality.

With Lights In The Driveway capturing the pulsating allure of Ex-Easter Island Head, anchored by by Murrary’s sharp, urgent percussion, the swelling drones of Findings II feel like cracked sunlight through the trees. In short, it’s purely majestic.

And that feeling doesn’t stop when we arrive at the closing composition, New Opiate; a subtle, fragmented opus containing the kind of emotional subtlety only carefully plotted brass arrangements can provide. It’s the kind of sound that reaches us from another universe, ending Embassy Nocturnes in a beautifully emphatic way.

While referencing experimental purveyors of the past two decades, Aging and Land Trance add their own tints, shades, and tones to this vivid canvass. So much so that it’s one they could very well call their own.

In a year that has seen many collaborations break through glass ceiling, undoubtedly, Embassy Nocturnes reaches even further beyond. Quite simply, it’s up there with the best of them, as Aging and Land Trance have provided a new cadence that sounds like nothing else in 2021."
- Simon Kirk, Sun 13


released October 18, 2021

Andrew Hunt – Piano, Synthesisers, Electronics, Tenor Saxophone, Drum machine
Benjamin D. Duvall – Sampler, Shahi baaja, Bamboo Marimba, Zither, Dictaphone, Drum machine
David McLean – Tenor Saxophone, Guitar, Piano
Joel Murray – Drums & Percussion
Nick Hunt - Trumpet
Chris Hutchinson - Double Bass
Ben Fair – Piano, Synthesiser


Recorded at The Embassy by Andrew Hunt
Additional recording by David Berger
Mixed and Arranged by Andrew Hunt & Benjamin D. Duvall
Mastered by Dirk Serries
Artwork by Lewis McLean


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Tombed Visions Records Manchester, UK

Tombed Visions is a Manchester based cassette label specialising in improvisation, ambient music, experimental electronics and noir aesthetics and aims to showcase the fringes of contemporary independent music. All releases are limited edition and packaged with care, combining a love of graphic design, photography, typography with the wondrous sounds released. ... more

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